The number of issues people in a state like Jharkhand – where 40% of the population lives below the poverty line (BPL) – face daily go from lack of education, malnutrition, bad governance, inadequate sanitation conditions and high level of unemployment, to name a few. But are these problems getting the deserved attention? Are they properly portrayed in mainstream media? Not really! So Welthungerhilfe, together with our partners LEADS, NEEDS, Badlao Foundation and PRAVAH and the financial support of the European Union, set out to organize a “Capacity building in writing and photography skills for creating barefoot reporters” workshop!
The participants, that included activists, women and students from tribal areas, all between 16 and 25 years old, engaged for 5 days in theoretical lessons as well as field activities, and learnt as much as possible about reporting and interviewing techniques, on-site coverage photography, formatting and layouting of wall newspapers. After identifying burning issues in their villages, armed with tape recorders, pen and paper, and a camera, they went around interviewing officials and ‘common men’. At the end of the workshop, their wall-papers presented information, facts and pictures about Self Help Groups and migration; Public Distribution Systems and attitudes towards BPL card-holders; Health Centres and Village Health Sanitation Nutrition Committee; the functioning of Gram Sabha (Village Assembly) and women’s participation; malnourished children and mother’s health; education and school management.
Full of ideas and inspiration, these young people are now on a mission to give voice to the people in their villages, raise awareness on their daily problems and hopefully encourage district administrations to take action. If this isn’t civic engagement….!