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“He Chewed My Face Like an Animal”: A Survivor of Domestic Violence Speaks Up
 
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Jyoti Kadam reports from Morena, Madhya Pradesh for Video Volunteers. November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. According to the latest report on the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals, 19 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 years of age have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner. In the most extreme cases, such violence can lead to death. It's time to stop averting our eyes from the magnitude of the problem. Parvin's story is one of grit and determination. But it is she and her daughter that people taunt and look down upon, not the monster of a man who tried to destroy her. “We have to put up with a lot, society looks at us with a distorted lens. I am responsible for my daughters and I am bringing them up well,” adds the iron lady. Read more: https://www.videovolunteers.org/violence-against-women-he-chewed-my-face-like-an-animal/ This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it’ and give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change. Video Volunteers is a community media organisation which has directly impacted the lives of more than 1.5 million people in India by initiating and sustaining a global community media movement - empowering people by giving them a voice. Watch and read more stories from marginalised communities at www.videovolunteers.org Connect with us! - Facebook: www.facebook.com/VideoVolunteers/ - Twitter: www.twitter.com/videovolunteers - Subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.videovolunteers.org/newsletter-sign-up-page/
Views: 3330606 VideoVolunteers
A 19-year-old from India builds car from scratch using Youtube videos
 
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Community Correspondent Amol Lalzare reports from Mumbai, for IndiaUnheard Community Correspondents come from marginalized communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.
Views: 228671 VideoVolunteers
Have We Forgotten Razia Sultan?
 
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The tomb of Razia Sultan, India's first female Muslim ruler lies in ruins in Kaithal, Haryana. Raiza Sultan was the Sultan of Delhi from 1236 to 1240. One of the few female sovereigns of the Islamic civilization, she was also a wise ruler, and would have been of one the most powerful Sultans had she not encountered tremendous resistance from the nobility. Aware of the power she held, and opposed to the patriarchal traditions of the court, Razia insisted on being addressed as a Sultan and not as a Sultana, which referred to the wife or the mistress of a Sultan. Razia Sultan was killed in 1240 and supposedly buried in Kaithal, Haryana. But today, the tomb of this great figure of Indian history is forgotten and dilapidated. Kumar Mukesh, our Community Correspondent in Haryana, is very familiar with the area, and thus knows about the existence of the site. But in Kaithal very few are still aware of the presence of this piece of heritage on the outskirts of the city. The tomb, that used to be a place for worship and prayers, is now in disrepair and ignored by the residents. The appalling state of the tomb is largely due to the negligence of the government. As with many sites in India, the grave was owned by a Muslim before Partition, and was handed over to the Indian Government at the time of Independence. But no investments have been made to maintain and beautify the site, which has resulted in the lack of tourists. Thus, the site is slowly abandoned and falling in ruins. Kumar has already written to the government officials, requesting them to take action to renovate the site. Because he received no reply and did not see any signs of improvement, Kumar now wishes that his video helps the change to happen, and sparks citizens' will to preserve their heritage. Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3hV/
Views: 182757 VideoVolunteers
Sarhul - A grand tribal festival in Jharkhand -Maria Gorreti Kujur reports for IndiaUnheard
 
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Sarhul is one of the biggest festivals of tribes in Jharkhand. It is celebrated during the spring season as flowers blossom on the Saal trees. Sarhul literally means ‘Worship of Saal’ and is dedicated to mother earth. People sing and dance when the new flowers appear. The deities are worshiped with saal flowers. Traditional drum — Dhol, Nagara and Turhi — players keep drumming and playing along with priest chanting prayers to deities. At the pooja, the priest offers three young roosters of different colors - one to the almighty god; another for the village deities; and the third for the ancestors. After the prayers, the priest offers flowers and rice beer to the villagers. Community correspondent Maria Goretti Kujur made this video to show and preserve the tribal culture and traditions.
Views: 48598 VideoVolunteers
"I Didn't Pay Attention to What People Said"  Zeeshan, MBA, a Dairy Farm Owner | Rayees reports
 
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Rayees Ahmad reports from Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir for Video Volunteers. Zeeshan Danish, 30, an MBA from Bangalore, who hails from Ratnipora village in Pulwama, runs a successful dairy business. He started rearing cows in 2013 and today he is owner of 3 dairy farms, a poultry farm, a rabbit farm and a pigeon farm. He is an inspiration to many youngster who want to set up their own business. This is a unique example at a time when most of the youngsters after completing their studies run for govt jobs , but at the other hand this young man is doing something on his own. This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it’ and give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change. Video Volunteers is a community media organisation which has directly impacted the lives of more than 1.5 million people in India by initiating and sustaining a global community media movement - empowering people by giving them a voice. Watch and read more stories from marginalised communities at www.videovolunteers.org Connect with us! - Facebook: www.facebook.com/VideoVolunteers/ - Twitter: www.twitter.com/videovolunteers - Subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.videovolunteers.org/newsletter-sign-up-page/ -YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/VideoVolunteers
Views: 17681 VideoVolunteers
Haleema Qadri -  An 'Illiterate' Kashmiri Female Poet of Budgam
 
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Rafiqa bano Community Corresondent reports from Budgam, Jammu and Kashmir for Kashmir Unheard. Haleem Qadri is a 43 year old woman from central Kashmir’s Budgam district. She has never gone to school, never held a pen but has come up with her fine collection of Kashmiri poetry. Despite barriers of being illiterate, she attempts to compile her poems in her heart and mind. Haleema latter approaches Kashmiri writers to pen down her poetry. Her Book named after the Prophet has poems about diverse subjects, though mostly mystic in nature. Video Volunteers Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change. Video Volunteers is a community media organisation which has directly impacted the lives of more than 4 million people in India by initiating and sustaining a community media movement - empowering people by amplifying their voices. Watch and read more ’news by those who live it’ at www.videovolunteers.org Connect with us! - Facebook: www.facebook.com/VideoVolunteers/ - Twitter: www.twitter.com/videovolunteers - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/videovolunt... - Subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.videovolunteers.org/newsl... - YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/VideoVolunteers वीडियो वालंटियर्स के सामुदायिक संवाददाता के द्वारा यह वीडियो बनाया गया है। सामुदायिक संवाददाता हिंदुस्तान के हाशिये के तबकों से आते हैं और ऐसी कहानियां बयान करते हैं जो सामने नहीं आ पातीं, मुख्यधारा का मीडिया जिन्हें अनदेखा कर देता है। जो इन ख़बरों को जीते हैं वो खुद इन कहानियों को सामने लाते हैं। दूर-दराज के इलाकों की ये ख़बरें, मानवाधिकार और विकास संबंधी मसलों पर वैश्विक स्तर पर चुनौती का संदर्भ बनती हैं। इन संवाददाताओं की आवाज़ और बदलाव के पहल को बुलंद करने में हमारा साथ दें। वीडियो वालंटियर्स एक सामुदायिक मीडिया संगंठन है जो वैश्विक सामुदायिक मीडिया आंदोलन की पहलकदमी और निरंतरता के जरिये भारत के 40 लाख लोगों के जीवन को सीधे तौर पर प्रभावित किया है और बदलाव को मुमकिन बनाया है। लोगों को सशक्त करता है और उनकी आवाज़ बुलंद करता है।
Views: 234503 VideoVolunteers
Seth Rafi, A Renowned Artist - Living a Paralyzed Life | Nadiya Shafi Reports
 
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Nadiya Shafi reports from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir for Video Volunteers. Seth Rafi is a household name in Kashmir's cinema. He is an actor who has worked in dozens of Kashmiri comedy serials and written scripts, he is also a director and writer. He got paralyzed due to a stroke in Feb 2015 and has been left over by the authorities and lives a terrible life full of struggles.
Views: 204930 VideoVolunteers
Historical Ali Abad Sarai craves for Attention - Musheer ul Haq Reports from Shopian
 
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This is an old travellers inn(sarai) situated at Aliabad, on Historical Mughal road in Shopian district. Constructed by mughals during the 17th century in the majestic Pir Panjal mountains, one cannot afford to miss the site of this inn. Mughals on entering or while leaving from the valley used to spend a night here before heading for their remaining journey. The structure lies in ruins due to the neglect by authorities and cries for attention. Musheer ul Haq reports from Shopian.
Views: 45214 VideoVolunteers
Kalaroos: A Secret Tunnel from Kashmir to Russia?
 
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Community Correspondent Azharuddin Pir reports from Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir, for KashmirUnheard. A set of caves in Kashmir’s Kupwara district may be the key to an ancient, underground passage to Russia; and to archaeological secrets. Read more: A set of caves in Kashmir’s Kupwara district may be the key to an ancient, underground passage to Russia; and to archaeological secrets. Video Volunteers Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change. Video Volunteers is a community media organisation which has directly impacted the lives of more than 4 million people in India by initiating and sustaining a community media movement - empowering people by amplifying their voices. Watch and read more ’news by those who live it’ at www.videovolunteers.org Connect with us! - Facebook: www.facebook.com/VideoVolunteers/ - Twitter: www.twitter.com/videovolunteers - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/videovolunteers/ - Subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.videovolunteers.org/newsletter-sign-up-page/ - YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/VideoVolunteers वीडियो वालंटियर्स के सामुदायिक संवाददाता के द्वारा यह वीडियो बनाया गया है। सामुदायिक संवाददाता हिंदुस्तान के हाशिये के तबकों से आते हैं और ऐसी कहानियां बयान करते हैं जो सामने नहीं आ पातीं, मुख्यधारा का मीडिया जिन्हें अनदेखा कर देता है। जो इन ख़बरों को जीते हैं वो खुद इन कहानियों को सामने लाते हैं। दूर-दराज के इलाकों की ये ख़बरें, मानवाधिकार और विकास संबंधी मसलों पर वैश्विक स्तर पर चुनौती का संदर्भ बनती हैं। इन संवाददाताओं की आवाज़ और बदलाव के पहल को बुलंद करने में हमारा साथ दें। वीडियो वालंटियर्स एक सामुदायिक मीडिया संगंठन है जो वैश्विक सामुदायिक मीडिया आंदोलन की पहलकदमी और निरंतरता के जरिये भारत के 40 लाख लोगों के जीवन को सीधे तौर पर प्रभावित किया है और बदलाव को मुमकिन बनाया है। लोगों को सशक्त करता है और उनकी आवाज़ बुलंद करता है।
Views: 22845 VideoVolunteers
Natural Oil from Mahua Flower, Odisha - Mamta Reports for Indiaunheard
 
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This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ they give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.
Views: 12131 VideoVolunteers
Wokha's Vanishing Mountain
 
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Nagaland's Mount Tiyi is a key environmental and cultural feature for the local Lotha people. The mount, more clearly defined as a large hill, stands at 1969.91 meters above sea level. At one point, Mount Tiyi was well known for its fabulous lushness. Local Lothas recall the colorful Rhododendron flowers that once dotted the hill and the robust variety of bird and plant species that once thrived there. The mountain's beauty inspired both songs and spiritual beliefs. Over time, the Lotha developed a register of songs specifically relating to Mount Tiyi. Local tribal people's fascination with the mount resulted in a growing number of legends. According to local folklore, there is a concealed orchard on the mount, which can only be found by the most fortunate of souls. The hill has also been referred to as, "the mountain of life, " a name given in reference to the life-giving water streaming from Tiyi's summit. Perhaps the most compelling association—and one that runs through much of Nagaland—is that Mount Tiyi is the abode of departed souls. This haunting image has fueled the sanctity surrounding the mount for as long as living memory allows. However, in recent times, carelessness by both locals and outsiders has contributed to the degradation of Mount Tiyi. Mismanagement in cultivating the local jhum crop has worn down the hillside. External contractors fell trees at reckless rates. Locals have pushed housing up the hillside. All of these factors and more have contributed to a noticeable loss of biodiversity. This physical loss has been accompanied by a loss of the cultural practices bound to Mount Tiyi. As Mount Tiyi's flowers fade and die, so too have the bright songs once sung to celebrate it. Many fear these cultural traditions are in danger of extinction. 
In this video, Renchano reports on how Mount Tiyi has changed over the years: from its important historic significance to its present status. Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3ke/
Views: 12596 VideoVolunteers
Prostitution Enforced By Tradition
 
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Generations of women are forced into prostitution by their male relatives in the name of tradition in rural Uttar Pradesh, India Gunjan, our correspondent from Uttar Pradesh brings us this shocking video about Natpura, a village near state capital Lucknow, where for generations, men have been forcing their daughters and sisters into flesh trade. The girls here are made to start serving clients when they are barely 11 or 12. Since they start working at such an early age, none of them goes to school. No woman here gets married either as nobody wants to marry a girl form this village. The most shocking fact is that almost every woman here believes that she is just carrying on a 'village tradition'. This thought instilled in them by their family members and other male relatives in the childhood. So few girls protest or even realize that they are being exploited or their rights are violated. Natpura, which comes under Hardoi district, has about 50 families. In every family, all the young women work as prostitutes and are the main bread earners. But when they are old and have retired from the profession, they live in extreme poverty, abandoned by their relatives. However, men of the village here live the way they want. They marry and bring home their brides, whom they protect well, keeping them away from prostitution. But when the same couples have female children, they bring them up only to make them prostitutes. Gunjan who first visited this village 4 years ago, says that things have changed a lot in past 4 years, but only for worse. Now girls are trafficked to work in brothels in places like Mumbai and Dubai. This is one reason why Gunjan couldn't find girls of her age to speak with, because they were all working abroad. Those who are still based in the village, have a clientele that includes several politically and economically powerful people. Since they pay well for the women's services, men in the village are not willing to take the women out of the profession. The village has no schools, no electricity and no panchayat/village council of it's own - facts that makes the village a perfect breeding ground of any social crime. Gunjan says when she visited Natpura, she felt that this was not a part of the country she lived in. This is because all the talk of empowering women, ensuring their rights fall by wayside when one enters the village. And this is the reason why she felt compelled to share this story with the world, so it wakes up, takes notice and helps stop this utter injustice to women that has gone on here for long. Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3kE/
Views: 53360 VideoVolunteers
Understanding Sufi Shrines of Srinagar, Nadiya Reports from Srinagar
 
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Sufi sect has spread several continents and made it's way into Kashmir hundreds of years ago. The Kashmir valley is an abode to numerous shrines. Lakhs of Kashmiris have strong belief in these shrines and often visit these places to get their wishes fulfilled. The valley is well-known for being the ‘Pir Waer’, meaning the ‘Alcove of Sufis and Saints’. Some of the shrines are the world famous such as Baba-Zain-ud-Din Wali R.A. (Aishmuqam), Baba Hyder Reshi R.A. (Anantnag), the last of the giants of the Rishi order in Kashmir about whose resting place the Alamdar-i-Kashmir (Flag Bearer of Kashmir), Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Rishi R.A. (Charar- e -Sharief) had foretold his diciples, Baba Dawood Ghoni R.A. (Vailoo), Hazrat Noor Shah Bagdadi R.A. (Kund), Hazrat Sheikh Syed Samnani R.A. (Kulgam), Baba Naseeb-ud-Din Ghazi R.A. (Bijbehara) Hazrat Syed Yaqoob Sarfi R.A.,Hazrat Baba Gulindin Sahib (R.A.),Hazrat Baba Reshi Sahib R.A. Gulmarg, Hazrat Baba Shikur – u –din Sahib R.A. Watlab Sopore, Shrine of Hazrat Peer-e-Dastgeer Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Geelani R.A.at Khanyar Srinagar.
Views: 39824 VideoVolunteers
India's Untouched Temple!
 
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Ramayana characters are worshipped in India while the author of the epic is treated 'untouchable' As India celebrates Diwali -- the festival of lights, characters from the epic Ramayana are being worshipped everywhere. But temples dedicated to Valmiki, the author of Ramayana, are avoided by caste Hindus because they are seen as temples of the 'Untouchables.' Amit Kumar is a Dalit living in India's Haryana state. He and his fellow community members are Hindus by religion, but are not allowed by the 'upper' castes to enter a Hindu temple. The only places where they can worship are the temples of Valmiki who is the author of the epic Ramayana and creator of all the Ramayana characters including Rama and Hanuman. Some of the Dalits like Amit have actually named themselves after Valmiki. However, while the 'upper' castes have no problem with worshipping Rama and Hanuman, they treat both the Valmiki community and their Valmiki temple as 'lowly' and 'untouchable'. According to Amit, this behavior of upper caste is absurd and it makes him and his fellow community members angry to be treated like a lesser human. Says Amit, "On one hand, 'upper' castes don't allow us in a Hindu temple. On the other, they look down upon the only temple that we can enter. I feel caught in a trap of indignity!' The constitution of India guarantees every citizen the right to practice his faith. But the rights of Dalits like Amit are violated by upper castes every day. Being an IndiaUnheard correspondent has helped Amit in many ways. Before joining IndiaUnheard Amit felt embarrassed to reveal his caste. But later, as a community correspondent he interacted with his fellow community members more often. This helped him understand his community issues better and also connect with his community well. Now he is no longer shy to say that he is a Valmiki Dalit. So, instead of hiding his real identity, Amit is now making videos where he points out the unethical treatment that Dalits get from 'upper' castes. Also, Amit's role as a community correspondent is helping the entire community realize several things that are wrong, but went unquestioned. For example, 'upper' caste neighbors never visited the Valmiki temple in Amit's neighbourhood, but none in Amit's community had ever wondered why. It was only during the shooting of this video that his community realized that 'upper' castes avoided the temple because they considered it an unclean place. Amit Kumar, Ladwa, Kurukshetra, Haryana, Caste& Identity, Valmiki, Balmiki, Dalit, Dalit Rights, Untouchables, Upper Caste, Lower caste, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Varna, Discrimination, Temple, Worship, Forbidden, Prejudice, Bias, Caste violence, Ostracize, Torture, Sudra, Shudra, Brahmin, Manu, Ambedkar, Conversion, Gohana, Valmiki Jayanti, Hatred, Sweeper, Cleaner, Manual Scavenger, Manual Scavenging, Dalit movement, Alienation, Dalit solidarity, Navsarjan, Harijan, Chamar, Dalit empowerment, Valmiki samaj, Valmiki nagar, Valmiki temple, Dipavli, Ram, Lord Ram, Hanuman, Monkey God Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3ja/
Views: 5728 VideoVolunteers
TATA,CCL Choke Jharkhand Villages
 
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About the Video: Nestled between the blackened pits of the TATA and CCL coal mines, the community of Ramgarh district in the state of Jharkhand has been left without access to basic drinking water. Before the mining companies came in, water was accessed by digging a mere 6-8 feet below the ground but now the deepest wells, about three to five times the depth, are running on empty. Continuous mining has dried out the traditional community wells. While the groundwater is being spirited away, rain water has no chance to replenish the falling water table. The rains collect and stagnate with the pollutants in the mining pits. When the mines were planned, the mining companies had promised clean drinking water to the community and for a while it seemed that they would live up to the promises. New wells were constructed. Hand pumps were installed. Regular tankers of water were sent to the villages. Then one day, the tankers stopped coming. The wells dried up and the hand pumps had no more water to yield. The nearby agricultural land began to lose its fertility. Farmers lost their livelihoods. The nearest source of clean water was over two kilometres away. With few options, the community began to use the water in collected in the pits and their health took a toll. They were plagued with skin rashes and allergies. Lacking options, they took their problems to the gates of the mining companies and reminded them of their promises. They were given an application form. The application once completed would be processed by the companies. Depending on if they feel that the situation as presented in the application is grave/important enough, a tanker may/may not be sent. The Issue: The vision of modern India has come at a heavy price and the Damodar River Valley in the state of Jharkhand has been one of the unwilling victims who have paid the toll for progress. The abundant water once supported diverse flora and fauna and the lives and livelihoods of the tribal, fishing and agricultural communities living along its fertile banks. Once a year, the abundance spilled over causing flooding and devastation. Even if these events earned the river the unfortunate moniker of 'river of sorrow', it was a cyclic event that the communities had learned to cope with. In 1984, the Government of India introduced the Damodar Valley Project to control the flooding by using the water to generate hydro and thermal power. Industrialization came to valley promising a better future with no floods and electricity for all. A little over 25 years have passed and it has now become one of the most polluted river basins in the world. The Damodar river flows across some of the most mineral rich parts of the country -- the Chota Nagpur plateau with its reserves of mica, bauxite, copper, iron ore, lime stone and coal. It had the raw materials that laid the foundation of India's industrial revolution. The majority of the coal consumed in the country is mined from the region. The land has become the base for hundreds of industrial units. With mines, washeries, furnaces and the infrastructure, coal spawned an industry of its own. Setting up a coal mine destroys the immediate landscape. There is large scale deforestation and the quality of the land and soil is irreparably affected. The mine renders it unfit for any other purpose. The altering of land depletes the ground water. Dust and coal particles released in the mining and processing of the coal pollutes the air. They are a health hazard known to cause severe respiratory ailments. The gases that emanate from the mines are greenhouse gases that contribute towards global warming. The toxic drainage and loose soil not only pollutes the nearby sources of water but also finds its way to the ground water reserves damaging the quality of water. The effects of mining are long-standing. Even if the mine is shut and abandoned, the land is forever damaged. Chances of recovery are nil. The 'river of sorrow' had turned to sludge. Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3eG/
Views: 7772 VideoVolunteers
Tea garden workers don't get any benefits including PF & gratuity | Harihar reports for IndiaUnheard
 
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The cup of refreshing morning tea in front of you has a tale of rampant labour exploitation and corruption. The area of North Bengal, where tea cultivation is the primary industry, has been dealing with a gruesome wave of starvation of more than 1.1 million tea-workers due to low or non-payment of wages, poor ration, fudging of workers’ Provident funds and gratuity, and non-existent medical attention. The state of the abandoned labourers is so bad that they survive of tea leaves, local shrubs and small animals like rats, if not die of starvation. Only recently, from April till December, 70 workers died due to chronic hunger and starvation in this region. The tea estates of Kalchini and Raimatang, in Alipurduar district of the state, were shut since 2002 due to non-payment of government loans but recommenced work after four years in 2010 after a tripartite meeting. However, the tea estate labourers didn’t get respite from their impoverished state. Instead, they continue to face rampant flouting of labour laws. According to the law, each tea garden worker is entitled to receive, apart from their daily wages, provident fund payments, bonuses, gratuity (for retired workers), ration, umbrellas and aprons for working, firewood for cooking, housing, electricity, water, medical care and education facilities. However, the last time the workers got their weekly wages was at least three weeks back and their money under provident fund has not been deposited in the provident fund office since eight years. “I retired in 2006 but I have yet not received my gratuity pay or pension,” says Maila Moaktanto Video Volunteers correspondent Harihar Nagbansi. Bikash Mahali, a labourer at the Kalchini tea estate reveals that a group of labourers had gone to the Block District Officer with the problem, demanding immediate action. “She said she can only report this issue to her senior officials, under who’s order she may be able to take corrective action,” Bikash added. A recent report on 273 tea gardens in Bengal demonstrated how, in 2012-13, 41 estates didn’t put a dime into employees’ provident fund accounts. This is a criminal offence, but since most tea plantations are located in remote areas, justice is hard to be reached. The wages of the tea-estate labourers in North Bengal are the lowest across India at Rs. 95 to Rs. 100 a day whereas the minimum wage paid to unskilled tea labour in Kerala is Rs.254, in Tamil Nadu it is Rs 209, in Karnataka it is Rs 228, and in neighbouring Sikkim it is Rs. 220. The backlog of unpaid Provident fund and gratuity and implementation of Minimum Wage for tea plantation workers are the need to the hour. Call L.C. Lepcha the Block Development Officer of Alipurduar, West Bengal on +91 -9434746850 and demand better working conditions and pays for the workers who work tirelessly to brig you the refreshing cup of your morning tea. THIS VIDEO WAS MADE BY A VIDEO VOLUNTEERS COMMUNITY CORRESPONDENT HARI NAGBANSI. Community Correspondents come from marginalized communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.
Views: 30337 VideoVolunteers
Sarjan Barkati aka 'Azadi Chacha' Continues to Remain in Detention
 
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Sarjan Barkati came to light during the 2016 Kashmir unrest. An Imam from Shopian district of Kashmir, Barkati is often called as 'Pied piper of Kashmir' or 'Azadi Chacha' due to his unique way of sloganeering during anti India and pro freedom protest rallies. He was detained under Public Safety Act by the state in October 2016. In January this year, J&K High Court put a stay on his PSA detention, but he still continues to remain detained. His speeches and sloganeering became viral on social media during the unrest and was later arrested in Anantnag (Islamabad). Barkati is also said to be a leader of a religious organization Ummat'e Islami. Our CC Sajad Shah visited Barkati's family and this is what his family has to say.
Views: 388028 VideoVolunteers
The Dalit Massacre of Thangarh, Gujarat
 
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The Massacre On the 22nd and 23rd of September 2012, 'vibrant' Gujarat state police shot and killed 3 Dalit youth. Their names were Pankaj Sumra (age 16), Mehul Rathod (age 17) and Prakash Parmar (age 26). They lived in the industrial town of Thangadh in district Surendranagar. Late on the night of the 22nd, a group of 15 - 20 Dalit youth were visiting the Thangadh carnival. While in the carnival grounds, they had a brief run-in with members of another, so-called 'higher' caste. The matter was simple and small-- at the public water dispenser the Dalit youths had asked the other group to 'take care' as to not let drops of water splash on them. There was a little verbal sparring and the 'higher' castes left in a huff. The Dalit youth continued to walk around the carnival grounds and partake in the festivities. Walking around, they ran into the same 'higher' caste people again. This time they were a bigger group. They closed in on the Dalits. They cornered them, held them roughly and asked the question -" Are you a Dalit?" When the youth replied in the affirmative, they were thrashed mercilessly. The Dalits began to fight back and the skirmish looked like it would escalate. At that moment, the police Sub-Inspector K.P.Jadeja made an appearance with some of his juniors in the force. Without provocation, they began to fire into the crowd. 16 year old Pankaj Sumra was shot in the neck. The crowd dispersed and the Dalits tried to rush the kid's body to the nearby hospital. But the police refused to let them through. Instead, they rounded up some of the youth and put them in lock up. Pankaj was taken to the hospital where he succumbed and breathed his last. The news of Pankaj's death provoked the sentiments of the Dalit communities in the neighborhood. A group decided to get together to file a complaint and they marched towards the police station. The police intervened at a railway crossing. Once again instead of trying to control the situation, the police began firing rounds indiscriminately with their service revolvers and AK-47s. There are also reports that commandos in charge of the security of the Chief Minsiter's election rally which was scheduled at the same time in the vicinity joined in the massacre. The bullets took the lives of 17 year old Mehul and 26 year old Prakash. The Sport Meanwhile, it is the 13th of December, 2012. Over two months have passed. If one is to believe the voices in the mainstream media, the biggest sporting spectacle in the country is underway. Will Mr. Narendra Modi, the venerable gorilla, defend his title as Chief Minister for the third time in a row? Or can the opposition up their game and beat him at the finishing line? The atmosphere crackles with commentary. Exit polls, expert opinions, maps having a rave party, ecstatic vox-populi (power to the youth, power to democracy), statistics in pies, bars and numbers. The pitch is high and can only get higher as the competition moves into the final laps. There's nothing to hear but noise. Godhra is already an uncomfortable past. Thangadh seems to be headed in the same direction. Vibrant Gujarat is all about the brighter future and development. Justice and Human Rights don't look like they stand a chance. Nor do Dalits like Pankaj, Mehul, Prakash and their families. Whoever wins the coveted title in the state, it is the mute spectator, playing the odds in polling booth, who will lose. Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3b2/
Views: 9569 VideoVolunteers
Kashmir's Beautiful Keran Town in Far North Lacks Basic Facilities Even in 21st Century
 
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Keran town is located on the Line of Control in Kupwara district of Indian Administered Kashmir. It is 70 Kms away in the north of Kupwara town. The town has a population of 7500 people. This town lacks all the basic facilities till date ranging from non availability of good roads, infrastructure, communication, medical aid while such facilities are available in its full on the other side of LOC as the civilian area of Pakistani Administered Kashmir is barely fifty feet away from this village, which gets 24 hours power supply and is having motorbale roads too. The two Kashmirs are separated by a river and one can see the activities on the other side clearly. A rare report of this far flung town of Kupwara district by our correspondent, Pir Azhar.
Views: 105697 VideoVolunteers
"BON" Religion Thrives in India
 
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Bon monastery in Himachl Pradesh The history of Bon is difficult to clearly ascertain because the earliest surviving documents referring to the religion come from the 9th and 10th centuries, well after Buddhists began the suppression of indigenous beliefs and practices. Moreover, historian Per Kværnenotes that "Bon" is used to describe three distinct traditions: (1) the pre-Buddhist religious practices of Tibetans that is "imperfectly reconstructed [yet] essentially different from Buddhism" and was focused on the personage of a divine king; (2) a syncretism religion that arose in Tibet during the 10th and 11th centuries, with strong shamanistic and animistic traditions, that is often regarded by scholars as "an unorthodox form of Buddhism;" (3)"a vast and amorphous body of popular beliefs" including fortune telling. However, other scholars do not accept the tradition that separates Bön from Buddhism; Christopher Beckwith calls Bön "one of the two types of Tibetan Buddhism" and writes that "despite continuing popular belief in the existence of a non-Buddhist religion known as Bön during the Tibetan Empire period, there is not a shred of evidence to support the idea... Although different in some respects from the other sects, it was already very definitely a form of Buddhism." Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, recognizes the Bön tradition as the fifth principal spiritual school of Tibet, along with the Niangua, Sakya, Kagyu, and Gelug schools of Buddhism, despite the long historical competition between the Bön tradition and Buddhism in Tibet Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%B6n For more information about Video Volunteers, please visit our website: http://www.videovolunteers.org/ Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3lN/
Views: 6208 VideoVolunteers
A Mirror To Valmiki Community
 
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In this video the correspondent profiles his own community -- the Valmikis, perhaps the most oppressed community in India. Amit Kumar lives in Ladwa -- an urban village in Kurukshetra district of Haryana, along with -1200 of his Valmiki Dalit community members. The Valmikis are among India's most vulnerable people who are regularly tortured, ostracized and discriminated against by people of higher caste. As a Valmiki, Amit has shared most of what his community experiences everyday -- untouchability and discrimination. As a school student he faced discriminatory treatment from 'upper' caste teachers. Even today, he is barred from entering the temple in his village, and his 'upper caste' neighbours don't allow him to enter their homes or touch them. Although 'untouchability' was declared illegal in 1950 it continues to haunt millions of Dalit men, women and children. Most of them are also trapped in a cycle of poverty and illiteracy. It is estimated that over 50% of India's 150 million Dalits still do not have proper housing, medical care, education and employment prospects. In Amit's Valmiki community only 10% people are literate. 90% of them, including Amit's own family, live below the poverty line (earning less than 7 USD a month). Valmikis are considered the 'lowest of the low', at the very bottom of the hierarchical caste ladder. When it comes to livelihood, most in the community continue their caste assigned menial and filthy jobs such as skinning of animal, cleaning animal hides, cleaning drains, sweeping streets, public toilets and manual scavenging. Amit's own parents are street sweepers. By taking up the jobs that nobody else will do, the Valmikis provide the most crucial service to the society and therefore help our civic system survive. Yet the society seldom takes notice of them. In fact, instead of giving them the dignity of labour that they deserve, the society treats them as filthy and polluting. And the only time that Valmikis are in news, is when the community is attacked/ostracized by the 'higher' castes. Other times the community is practically invisible and unheard. However, of late there have been some changes in his community. More children are now admitted in schools, because parents want their children to get educated and have a better future. As a result, the community now has a handful of youth who have been to a college --like Amit did. The government has provided free housing to the community under special schemes. So most of his community members now have a home of their own. But as far as caste-based atrocities are concerned, they are continuing. Amit hopes that education and public awareness can help decrease this as well. Through this video Amit wants to reach out to the global community with the message 'Do not alienate us. We have lived apart from other communities for long. It's time to live together'. You too can reach out to Amit and his community by leaving a comment. If you are an NGO working on Dalit or Human rights, click here to get more information from Dalit communities across India. Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3jZ/
Views: 121478 VideoVolunteers
12 Year Old Junaid Pelleted to Death - Family Questions the Role of Media and Administration
 
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In October 2016, Junaid Ahmad a class 7th student was hit by pellets fired by forces when he was coming inside his home. Family questions doctors for misleading them and blames media for biased reporting of the incident. Junaid became 94th victim dueing the 2016 mass uprising which erupted against the killing of Burhan Wani a local rebel commander. The use of pellet guns has been widely condemned by human rights groups, media and international community. Indian Foreign Minister had promised to stop use of these guns which proved to be fatal while dealing with protesters but still the use of guns is going on. the funeral of Junaid which was being carried to a local graveyard was also fired upon in which dozens of people were injured.
Views: 142184 VideoVolunteers
Keeping Culture Alive: The Baiga Adivasis of Chhattisgarh
 
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Deena Ganvir reports from Chhattisgarh for Video Volunteers. While there is no doubt that large swathes of the country do need to be welcomed into the room of progress by getting access to at least basic necessities such as water and electricity, it is also important to nurture the traditional ways of living, which may actually lead to a more sustainable and harmonious lifestyle. Read more: https://www.videovolunteers.org/can-a-thread-tie-modernisation-and-tradition-together/ This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it’ and give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change. Video Volunteers is a community media organisation which has directly impacted the lives of more than 1.5 million people in India by initiating and sustaining a global community media movement - empowering people by giving them a voice. Watch and read more stories from marginalised communities at www.videovolunteers.org Connect with us! - Facebook: www.facebook.com/VideoVolunteers/ - Twitter: www.twitter.com/videovolunteers - Subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.videovolunteers.org/newsletter-sign-up-page/ -YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/VideoVolunteers
Views: 44397 VideoVolunteers
Harsh Realities of Dalits in India
 
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64 years of freedom and dalits remain captive. ?I believe that if Gandhi ever made a mistake it was grouping all of us lower castes under the term ?Harijan?, ?says Community Correspondent (CC) Satyawan Verma from Hisar, Haryana. Amit Kumar, CC from Kurukshetra also in Haryana nods in agreement. ?It literally means ?the people of God?. But the label stuck and a single word effectively ghettoised around 200 million people,? he says. ?I realize that perhaps he had our best interests in mind but the fact that only we were supposed to play ?god?s people? seems patronizing. If I am ?god?s people?, so is everyone, you and me and everything under the sun.? Jai Kumar, CC from Ludhiana in the neighbouring state of Punjab is visibly agitated. ?I hope the British would return to rule us all over again,? he explodes. One is perplexed and lost at this seemingly reactionary, anti-national outburst but Amit steps in to explain his comrade?s stand and anger. He says,? Before independence, we were gathering garbage, cleaning drains, scavenging, being abused and tortured and denied our human rights. After independence, very little has changed. There is an India on the road to progress, registering itself as a major player in the scheme of the world but for us dalits, India is a country where time has stood still for thousands of years.? Satyawan, Amit and Jai have been community leaders and dalit activists before they joined IndiaUnheard. Their experiences speak not just from the grassroots work they have done with their communities but also from the life they have lived. At 23, Satyawan became the youngest headman of his village. But as he tried to work his way around the political system, he found that in his predominantly upper caste constituency, caste put him at a disadvantage. He never received the grants that were supposed to come to him and he realized that the only way he was going to get any work done was by paying through his own pocket. So exasperated was he at the end of his term that he refused to stand for the re-election. For Amit, it was the discrimination that he experienced in school at the hands of upper caste students and teachers and later, his co-workers when he began work in the private sector that solidified his resolve to speak out for his community. And so disillusioned was Jai with the oppression of caste that he renounced his religion and turned a Buddhist. ?Caste is the elephant in contemporary India?s room,? he says. ?It?s taking so much space that I can hardly get my toe in.? Investigating the caste system in India is an exasperating and frequently paradoxical process. Its origins and existence have been made vague but the system has worked its way into every major religion and public and private spaces. But still, the official line on caste discrimination teeters between complete denial and the attempt to sweep the whole mess under the carpet. They would have you believe that the country has collectively enlightened and risen beyond this petty ?aparthied?. They would tell you that the Constitution of the country which provides social, political and economic justice for all has in place provisions which ensure that the lives, dignity and livelihood of the dalits are secure. Any exploitation along the lines of caste has been forbidden and long abolished. In fact, they?ll tell you, the most vulnerable segments are given special protection. Special reservations have been made for the underprivileged so that they can participate in the economic, social and political mainstream. From the couch to the TV, it appears as an inspiring portrait of a young nation of one billion citizens moving upwards into a brighter future. You have to look beyond the mainstream, towards the margins to realize that every day, in every 18 minutes, in the space of 3 advertisement breaks and half a news program, an atrocity crime is committed against a dalit. A closer inspection of the systems of power in India can testify to the exploitation and marginalization of the dalits. You may see it or you may not but it?s everywhere. In the political scheme, in spite of constitutional reservation, dalit representatives are few. The paradox remains that the dalit vote bank is much sought after and political parties are known to offer false promises and even stoop as low as to resort to blatantly undemocratic measures like threatening and pressurizing the people to gather their vote. Even so-called dalit parties are known to suspend all disbelief and willingly join hands with the upper caste right wing if that assures then a place in the ruling government. ?Dalit ideology and identity is missing from present day politics,? says Satyawan, speaking from experience. ?What is the point is you are a dalit but speak in the words of a Brahmin?? The justice system fares no better. The conviction rate for crimes against dalits is a paltry 15% and 85% of cases are kept in a perpetual state of being ?pending?.
Views: 37107 VideoVolunteers
A coal mine on fire since 20 years
 
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A village in Jharkhand continues to be engulfed by noxious fumes coming from a coal mine fire as high as three floors nearby. Kujju-Collieries Mines in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand has been burning continuously for 20 years now, putting lives of nearly 4,500 residents in danger. “The fire has been burning since before 2000, but it was small. But when Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited, opened the mines the fire came in contact with air and has constantly been spreading” says Lakhan, who works at the coal mines. The residents of the village are constantly inhaling the smoke and toxic fumes such of carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide that constantly emanates out of the earth. “Residents here complain of respiratory and skin problems, constant head aches and many other ailments. But where can we go?” Lakhan tells Video Volunteer correspondent Basanti Soren. People here are also concerned, as the coal fire slowly spreads beneath the ground, threatening to open the surface and collapse land the very land they live on. However, the residents, mostly marginalized community of workers, have no source of employment apart from coal mines and no place else to go. “You think anyone wants to die like this? But we are poor people with nowhere to go. The government tells us to move, but is not making any arrangements for us either,” says Kishore Singh, a resident there. He further claims that CCL has been taking half-hearted measures to control this ecological and human disaster. He says, “CCL wants to just do a patch up work and put an end to this problem. But unless they cut the chunk of coal the fire will continue spreading – across the highway, railways and our homes.” Coal contains many trace elements, such as arsenic and mercury, which are dangerous to the environment. Coal also has traces of radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium, and other naturally-occurring radioactive isotopes which if released into the environment may lead to radioactive contamination. Though in small percentage, if enough coal is burned these substances are released, paradoxically resulting in more radioactive waste than nuclear power. Jharkhand has been home to many of India’s largest coal mines, but unknown to many it is also home to one of the longest burning coal fire in the world. Jharia, a coal mine in Jharkhand has been on fire since a century. Help the residents of the Kujju Collieries escape the ecological and human disaster before it is too late. Call Mr. M.K. Mishra, the general manager of Kujju Colliary on +91 8987785011 and inform him about the coal mine fire which has been lit since 20 years.
Views: 15238 VideoVolunteers
Justice Denied: A case of casteism in Bihar
 
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News reports from Bihar are scarcely positive, thanks to decades of incompetent and ignorant administration. The hope of development, on the basis of which Nitish Kumar was elected the chief-minister back in 2005, started to decay slowly and is non-existent today. Worse still, discrimination on the basis of caste still stems flagrantly from rural Bihar. Incidents of such discrimination surface with such frequency that they only come as a surprise to the avowedly obtuse. VV-PACS Community Correspondent Indu Devi reported another story that further dims an already dismal montage of Bihar’s reality. August 2013: It was about 7 a.m. when a goat broke loose and ventured out from the house of Mira Devi, who was mourning a family member who had passed-away the previous night. Whether the goat grazed at the cornfield of Jalan Yadav’s property next dor is a matter of disagreement, but it shouldn’t matter considering what followed. Yadav took the goat and tied it at his own house, as a compensation for his ruined harvest — as he believed it to be. It is not unusual for cattle to walk into an open field but according to Yadav, Mira Devi belongs to a ‘lower-caste’ and the crop was now a heap of waste. When Mira Devi went to Yadav’s house to get the goat back, he not only refused to return it, but also deemed it appropriate to abuse her verbally and brutalised her with a cane plank. For Mira Devi, who was in the fourth month of her pregnancy, the beating led to a miscarriage. She went to the police station and filed a complaint. The case was filed and two months later, with efforts of VV-PACS CC Indu Devi, Yadav was arrested after two months, in November. But as it happens in a crooked bureaucracy like Bihar, Yadav was released after a couple of weeks. Later in February, in a series of events that can’t possibly be articulated — “it’s just how it goes here,” VV-PACS CC Indu Devi said plainly — the case was turned against Mira Devi, who now frequents the district court on days the blindfolded lady calls. Call to Action: Superintendent of Police, Begusarai District, Bihar. Phone: +91-9431800011 Call on this number to appeal for the case against Mira Devi to be dropped. About the Partnership: The Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) Programme and Video Volunteers have come together to create the Community Correspondents Network. The videos generated by the network will be able to highlight voices from the margins, providing skills to social communicators to provide advocacy tools to community based organisations.
Views: 23688 VideoVolunteers
Pass ya Fail?: Right to Education in India
 
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On 14th November 2013, which is celebrated as Children's day across India, Video Volunteers is launching a video audit that documents the ground reality of the functioning of the Right to Education Act. In April 2013, on the 3rd anniversary of the Act, the RTE Forum published a report stating that there were 8 million children out of school in India. 2013 also marks the deadline set to meet all the norms set forth in the Right to Education Act that envisioned equitable, quality education to every child in India. As India gets set for a general election in 2014 and young India will come out to vote, this campaign will hold accountable policy makers who have promised to give every child of India the right to education through this Act. Video Volunteers' 206 trained community correspondents, using digital video cameras, will document the problems their communities face trying to get access to proper education facilities. Are schools easy to get to? Is the student-teacher ratio correct? Are there toilets and drinking water in the schools? Are the School Monitoring Committees functioning properly? These, and more are some of the questions we are asking. This teaser for the campaign sets out the issues. (link attached below) "Our English and Maths is really bad. If the foundation of our studies is weak at this initial stage, how will we strengthen it in the future?" asks Manisha, a student whose education is put on hold because of the lack of teachers in her school. These videos will form the base of the campaign "Pass Ya Fail", an audit of achievements and shortcomings of the RTE Act. In the first phase of the project, we are producing 100 videos from 100 districts from across India. Our Community Correspondents will bring you information from hundreds of schools, interviewing more than 100 teachers -- and of course, numerous parents and children -- seeing how these schools measure up to the thirteen key provisions guaranteed by this Act. Already documented, is a collection of over eighty videos (and counting), compelling evidence that the education system in India is far from adequate. As one travels into the interiors of the country, the more severe the problem gets—schools that are too far to walk to; financial constraints; teacher shortages, are just some of the obstacles they face. In the course of the campaign, Community Correspondents will go deep into particular stories and case studies, to help understand WHY the act has worked or not worked in a particular area. And most crucially, they will use the videos to bring an impact in individual cases at the block or district level where the act has not been implemented properly. In the past Video Volunteers' Correspondents have succeeded in redressing RTE violations. Through this video audit, Video Volunteers will raise the issues and concerns on the ground backed by visual evidence. We hope that in the course of the year long campaign, organisations working on education and the government itself will take note of these and ensure that the RTE Act, as envisioned is actually implemented. If India is set to be the youngest country in the world by 2020, each and every one of its young citizens should have access to a right as fundamental as education.
Views: 10192 VideoVolunteers
Untouchability Captured on Camera, Rajasthan
 
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Dalit women are made to remove their footwear as they pass by upper caste houses. Sunita recently went to Dangariya village with the head of the NGO she works with, which deals with development and women's empowerment. There, she was surprised to see women remove their footwear and carry it in their hands as they walked past certain places -- "big people's houses", as the Dalits call them. "It was the first time I had seen such a thing. I put myself in the place of those women and I felt humiliated. I wanted to make a video on it." The IndiaUnheard staff asked Sunita to reflect on how caste differences have affected her life. "In our day-to-day lives we do a lot of things, but we don't realise it is practicing untouchability. Through my work with IndiaUnheard, I realise this." Sunita comes from the merchant caste. When she was growing up, people from all castes would come to her family's house because her father's job with the Public Water Department was such that he needed to meet with a lot of different people. It wasn't practical or possible to ostracise certain castes or adhere to all the social practices of untouchability, for instance not allowing certain people in, or not eating the same food. Her work as an activist also doesn't allow for untouchability. "I am an activist. We have to go to many people's houses to talk to them, teach them. In Karauli there aren't any other Agarwal (one of the merchant castes) houses, so I would eat and drink wherever I went, no matter what caste. Things are changing, and we are changing with the times." Sunita shows that only married women are required to remove their footwear. Traditionally, Indian women are the vanguards of cultural preservation, not men. They are given the responsibility of passing on the social customs and codes. Hence, married women will teach their children about these practices, ensuring its continuance. After marriage, Sunita moved to Karauli. "My mother-in-law goes to the well and passes by Muslim women. If their clothes touch her by mistake, she comes home and takes a bath. She told me I have to do the same," Sunita said. We asked Sunita whether she would let her child marry a Dalit. "Why not? If the person is well-educated, well-behaved...I want my children to stand on their own, make their own decisions, think on their own." Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3if/
Views: 93948 VideoVolunteers
Army Vs People in Jharkhand
 
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The Netarhat people's movement continues unabated. Since the 1950s, Indian Armed Forces have used the scenic forests of the Netarhat plateau in the state of Jharkhand as practice grounds to try out and perfect their combat skills. Come spring every year, the army moved into the region inhabited by more than 2 lakh tribals and turns the area into a simulation of a battleground. Army trucks trample over fertile fields, bullets fly, bombs explode -- the tribals had no option but to vacate their villages and migrate temporarily till the army elaborate practice came to an end. After a few months, tribals would return to a war torn landscape that was their home. Dead animals, unexploded shells and mines, fields and grounds blasted into shambles. For all the troubles, the loss and the outright hell meted out to them, the army compensated the villagers by paying Rs. 2/- per family. For forty years, dissatisfaction grew in the hearts of the natives but they were at loss as to how to face up to the power of their army and their government. Then on the 23rd of March 1994 a group of tribal woman stood in front of the army trucks. They would not allow them to enter their lands. 'We will give our lives, but not our land' was the slogan they shouted. For two days, the woman stood down the army. Faced with a determined non-violent opposition that seemed to be gaining in numbers hour after hour, the army beat a retreat. The people had won. Every year on the 23rd and 24th the over 200 villages in Netarhat celebrate 'Victory Day' to mark this great event. It is also a reminder that the fight is far from over but that in each other, in numbers they would find the strength to perspire. The army is currently involved in trying to acquire 3606 square kilometers of the plateau to turn into a pilot firing range. This spells displacement and loss of livelihood for over two and half lakh tribals who have been born and raised in the region. The army, the state government, the authorities, the police have all tried to arm twist their way to acquire the land but the movement is strong and resilient. Jharkhand is a state that formed around a people's movement. There is a legacy to their struggle. It is a land where the people have learnt to fight for their rights. The Netarhat movement was far from just a momentary outburst of dissatisfaction. Like all notable people's movements, it was built on solid foundations; it is strategic, aware, empowered and immensely popular. Every time the army tries to move in, there are more million people who come from all over the region to stand ground and hold fort. Even if the army tries to provoke them, they maintain their organization and equanimity. Their greatest asset against the might of the army is their non-violence. Community Correspondent Birendra Tirkey belongs to the region. He is a headmaster at school but if he hears of a standoff between the people and the army, no matter where he is, no matter what he is upto, he would leave everything to rush to the spot. "It is the code by which people live here," says Birendra. "It is unwritten but it's the way that my community is wired. I have been attending protests, stand-ins and sit-ins since my early teens. And I will not stop until the army ceases its attempts to steal our land." Birendra is proud of the legacy of the Netarhat struggle and is prouder of the fact that younger people are always joining in. "When I started the protest, I was one of the youngest. Now I see people who are younger than me and the sight fills me with great happiness. We people have grown up with the struggle. It is part of our identity. The youngest among us hasn't even seen the worst of times but they have heard of the movement from their elders. And they have made the fight their own." "Every popular movement has its own stories, its own legends, its own songs and slogans. It is the culture of the movement, and the times and the struggle. One of the reasons I have made this video is to tell the story of the struggle to people everywhere. The torch is lit. This is my attempt to pass on the flame. I'm reaching out to the world. You never know where the fire takes hold." Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3cv/
Views: 9235 VideoVolunteers
A Body of Pain – Questioning Marital Rape
 
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Today is Valentine’s Day. There will hearts and candies and flowers, at least in the metros. There will also be rapes, in both cities and villages. Legally sanctioned, “sacramental”, marital rapes inside homes. The discourse around rape in India still revolves around a woman’s “izzat” or honour. Once she gets married, her “izzat” ceases to matter even as she is subjected to rape by her husband who is supposedly her protector and guardian. When Video Volunteer’s correspondent Usha Patel began initiating conversations about sexual consent within marriage in her village Buddhipur in Uttar Pradesh, the evidence was stark. Asked point blank about who had a right over their bodies, the women in her community said, “the husband“. Questioning marital rape needs to start at the grassroots. VV’s Gender Correspondents who do in-depth interviews with women and men in their communities and organise gender discussion clubs around these videos are powering a change in attitudes. And change is in the air. You can see it when Rekha Devi of Buddhipur village looks into the camera and asks, “I want to ask men, why do you behave like this? What are we to you?” THESE VIDEOS WERE MADE BY VIDEO VOLUNTEERS COMMUNITY CORRESPONDENTS. THIS SERIES DOCUMENTING EVERYDAY PATRIARCHY IS SUPPORTED BY UNFPA Community Correspondents comes from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ they give the hyper-local context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.
Views: 91182 VideoVolunteers
“Only 1% of Garbage is Trash”: Clinton Vaz Shows the Way to a Zero-Waste Goa
 
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Clinton Vaz is the founder of vRecycle, a small firm based in South Goa that provides household to landfill waste management solutions. vRecycle collects household waste segregated into wet (organic) and dry (inorganic). A small organisation of only 20 employees, they collect and sort 3-4 tonnes of waste per day. Of this about half is organic waste that is composted yielding natural soil fertiliser. This goes back to the households for use in their gardens. The dry waste is sorted into twenty different categories. Most of this is recycled. Only 1% of the waste which is completely non-disposable or recyclable, mostly soiled diapers and menstrual hygiene products, is left over after the entire process. vRecycle currently stores this in their warehouse as even the municipal authorities have no solution to deal with this. Most of the employees are migrants who were informal waste pickers. They are all provided with safety gear when collecting and sorting the waste. “When I moved from the city [Margao] to the village, I realised that waste disposal was a big problem here. I thought if I can manage my own waste, I can help other people do the same. I devised my own system. That was 10-15 years back,” says Vaz. Today vRecycle manages the waste of over 10,000 households in South Goa and have collection points in over 18 sites spanning panchayats and housing societies. You can contact vRecycle here: https://vrecycle.in/ and +91 9890936828
Views: 4553 VideoVolunteers
Playtime for Boys and Housework for Girls: Training in Gender Roles Begins Early
 
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Khushboo, an 11-year-old from Uttar Pradesh is struggling to even have a play and study time. Being raised in a patriarchal family, she spends her time doing household chores and fulfilling her role as a young mother to her 8-year-old brother Shani. Shani has been brought up to think that women and girls have to do all the household chores, a norm in patriarchal families in India. He will grow up to think that while a man earns money for the house, a woman has to stay back and nurture and take care of the house and family. Ironically, most of the Indian women ascribe to this notion themselves – be it in rural or urban India. A Nielsen Research India study conducted in #urban Indian households states that over two-thirds of Indian women feel, there exists inequality in household chores at home. How many have we heard men priding themselves in never stepping into a kitchen in their childhood? How many times have we witnessed a working woman going back home, and getting on with the household chores while the husband relaxes? Join our conversations around everyday #Patriarchy This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Anil Kumar Saroj. Community Correspondents comes from marginalized communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyper local context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.
Views: 7228 VideoVolunteers
Indian Railways Blind to Disability
 
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Anita Tai is a 30 something woman living alone in the town of Vangani in the outlier districts of the city of Mumbai. Anita was born blind. Around a decade ago, she migrated to Vangani when she heard that it was home to disabled families who came across the state and settled there to earn their living. Anita's desire was to be independent and live a life of dignity. She became one of the many blind people who you may have seen selling inexpensive 'made-in-china' pens, chains and other trinkets in the compartments of the Mumbai trains. A few years ago, when Anita was making her way across the railway tracks to the platform to board her daily train, she lost her balance, slipped and fell. An arriving train ran over her hand. She survived the accident but her limb was destroyed. It had to be surgically amputated. In a town of 350 disabled people making their living by selling their wares to commuters in train compartments and no foot-over bridge to safely access the platform, Anita remains just another statistic of causality. There are many cases like hers in Vangani -- the blind who are forced to navigate the hazardous tracks in complete darkness, the people who have broken bones and fractured limbs, the people who have lost their lives. 15 years of many avoidable mishaps later, the authorities have yet to come good on their promise of a foot-over bridge. You can help Anita and support the 350 blind families of Vangani in their struggle for a footover bridge which can give them safe access to the railways platform. Call Rahul Jain, Divisional Regional Manager, Central Railways on 022-22621450 and make a demand to make Vangani Railway Station into an accessible disabled(blind) friendly railway platform. Demand for immediate change. For more information on the families and the situation continue reading at http://indiaunheard.videovolunteers.org/indian-railways-blind-to-disability/ Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3bi/
Views: 17989 VideoVolunteers
So what If I am a Girl : 8-year-old International Champion Kickboxer
 
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When Tajamul wanted to take up kickboxing, her father tried to dissuade her telling her it's a rough sport and she might get hurt. She persisted promising him that she'll be better than all the boys. At 7 Tajamul fulfilled that promise by becoming the youngest sub junior national kickboxing chapion. She defeated her 13-year-old opponent to win the title in the 2015 national finals and will represent India in the International Kickboxing Chapionships in Italy this November. Today Tajamul's father is not only proud of her daughter but hopes that her daughter will help change people's attitudes towards girls and sports in her native Kashmir. The trailblazer hails from the remote Kupwara district where opportunities for girls are very limited. In a district where the sex ratio is 853 women per 1000 men Tajamul is an inspiration. As her coach puts it, in Kashmir it's accepted that women take up professions such as engineering and medicine but are never given the opprtunity to exel at sports. Tajamul has broken every stereotype pertaining to young girls and sports. She exels at a contact sport which requires skill, hard training and a lot of physical strength. She trains five hours every day besides studying and pursuing her other love--dancing. Tajamul is like any other seven-year-old: she loves dancing to Bollywood song. She says that she is not good at girly tasks like cooking and household chores. She wants to become a doctor because she has the ability to break people's bones through her fighting skills and would like to learn how to heal people as well.
Views: 20569 VideoVolunteers
'Avatar' Star Stephen Lang Endorses Video Volunteers
 
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Avatar star endorses Video Volunteers: Actor Stephen Lang films video supporting global media initiative. Says Stephen Lang, "Video Volunteers is creating a kind of grassroots Reuters. They have created an alternative media in places that don't have cinemas or TV or even regular electricity. As an actor, it is amazing to see people who have so little producing such interesting media." Mr. Lang's endorsement is one of a series of endorsements Video Volunteers has recently received from the cinema industry. Famed Indian cinema actor Abhay Deol is the organization's "ambassador" in India, the country where, in addition to Brazil, Video Volunteers carries out most of its activities. Stephen Lang is a distinguished Tony-award nominated actor of stage and screen, "an actor's actor" according to the New York Times. His many works include the films Avatar, Public Enemies, Tombstone, Gods and Generals, and broadway performances starring in A Few Good Men, Death of a Salesman (with Dustin Hoffman), and the Speed of Darkness. Video Volunteers has built the largest media network anywhere in the world of poor people making news and documentaries on critical community issues, giving a voice to thousands of unheard people in slums and villages around the world. The people trained by Video Volunteers make videos that are shown on widescreen projectors in hundreds of villages, online and on broadcast TV. The work has created significant impact, reducing corruption, getting teachers to come on time, increasing participation in elections, and creating extraordinary leaders out of people who use to be farm laborers or Muslim housewives but who now are their villages' local journalists. The organization's work has been recognized by the Knight News Challenge, Echoing Green, TED, Waldzell, the King of Belgium, UNDP, UNESCO, Youtube and others who have helped us elevate the voices of these rural communities. Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3iQ/
Views: 3288 VideoVolunteers
Rapid Industrialisation Threatens Tribal Livelihood
 
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The rapid industrialisation of Chhattisgarh has disrupted the environmental balance of the region. The livelihoods of the millions of indigenous people that depended on forest resources of the region are at stake, as the forests succumb to industries and mining activities. Rajesh Gupta, Video Volunteer community correspondent captures the loss of livelihood of almost 13 lakh tribal families in the Saraipalli and Raigarh region as a result of vanishing Tendu leaves, also known as the Green Gold of the forest. Tendu leaves are used to wrap bidi, a poor man’s cigarette. The small industry employs at least 10 million people in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and annually sell about 550 billion pieces of bidi across India. Gathering the Tendu leaves is a labour-intensive job, and the tribals have very less to earn during the lean month of May, due to the harsh summers. “But the pollution from nearby mines cover the Tendu leaves with black soot, killing them,” says Kusmatram Sahu, a tendu leaves collector from Saraipali. The increasing mining activity in the region threatens the bidi industry, which annually gives livelihood worth Rs 250 crore to the tendu leaves collectors, mostly the tribals. “What people thought will be development, has resulted in the destruction,” observes Rajesh. Small-scale industries help the marginalised communities of the country. Let us save the Green Gold of the forest and help the tribals of Saraipalli and Raigarh save their livelihood. Call the concerned Environment Officer, Shri Sharma on +91-9685095442 and demand that protective action should be taken to protect the Tendu Leaves. Community correspondent Rajesh Gupta reports from Chhattisgarh for Video Volunteers. This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ they give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.
Views: 3069 VideoVolunteers
Veiling Should be a Choice not a Compulsion
 
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The image that comes to mind when we think of the veil is that of a Muslim woman in a burqua, whereas, the practice of veiling or 'purdah' (literally curtain) as it is known in South Asia, is not limited to any one religion. It is not simply a sartorial practise but behind the practise lies centuries of gendered discrimination that aims to limit women's mobility, confine them within the family and control their sexuality. The logic of embodied 'honour' and shame' through practicing veiling is so internalised by some women that they do not see it as a choice. Structures of oppression are internalised, so much so that one woman says that she will enforce this on her daughter-in-law. The irony here is that while women are the most oppressed by patriarchy, the burden of enforcing its norms is also placed upon them. While both the women underscore that the veil is a compulsion, not a free choice. And yet they cannot question this lack of choice or embrace the practice wholly. One of the respondents says that she has suffered physical injury because of the practice of covering her face. This is how patriarchy manifests itself in the normalisation of a practice that is essentially violent in it's intent of severely limiting women and their access to the world outside.
Views: 739786 VideoVolunteers
People in this south Kashmir Village Trek Miles for Potable water - Shafat Reports
 
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Around 80 households of south Kashmir's Rakhi Brah village are forced to draw water in containers from some three kilometres away, as the water storage tank which was built by the government has remained non-functional since last five years. The women folk Trek this distance daily to fetch clean water for drinking and cooking purposes. Shafat Mir reports
Views: 147326 VideoVolunteers
One Billion Rising: Discrimination in home guards
 
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12th March| Dhangadhra,Surendranagar District, Gujarat | Bipin Solanki The year 2015 started on a most inspiring note for women in the Armed Forces of India. For the first time ever the Republic Day Parade, held on the 26th of January each year, saw an all women contingent march through Rashtrapati Bhavan. The sight of women from the army, navy and air force marching chin up, resplendent in their livery was a moment of pride even for those otherwise cynical of the parade in general. Had Nari Shakti finally arrived in India? In a far off corner in Gujarat, the story is very different. The 20 odd women enrolled in the Home Guards of Dhangadhra are continuously reminded of their sex and made to feel inferior every single day they report for duty. “To give you a night shift, as a woman is a burden for us. If anything happens to you, we will be held responsible,” are the words that Falguni gets to hear often. Others in the force who are Dalit face a double dose of discrimination, the women report. They have been at loggerheads with their superiors trying to get assigned duties. The Home Guards function as a supplementary to the Police force in India and help in the maintenance of law and order, internal security and help out during emergency situations, including natural disasters. In Gujarat for every shift that they work, Home Guards get an allowance of INR200. In addition, they get paid INR 40 for every parade and mess allowances of INR 100 a day. Added up, the women could potentially earn INR 4000 a month but instead are short changed as they only get to go for parades and never any shifts outside the barracks. Their male counterparts get at least 23 days of duty per month. Reports from other parts of the country suggest that life as a female Home Guard is not easy. Things like the lack of toilets while on duty make it extremely difficult for women to do their job. The women tend to brave the situation and carry on with the work regardless. Meena for instance, who faces further discrimination for being a Dalit, worked hard and was promoted to a job in Ahmedabad where sheis a traffic policewoman. To work in any of the forces carries its fair share of risks for both women and men. Surely, the women who have chosen to enlist in the Home Guards are aware of this risk, just as their male counterparts. For men to ‘protect’ them by not letting them work reiterates a mind set that we hear often in India—keep the women at home to keep them safe. This video helped build the confidence of the 20 women working in Dhangadhra. “They tell me that they have started getting at least three or four days of duty every month. This is not equal to the men but is at least a start. The women reported that after senior officials saw me making this video things have changed a bit over there. The blatant caste-based discrimination has stopped, or at least the official doesn’t openly state what he thinks of people from the ‘lower-caste’,” reports BipinSolanki in a conversation earlier today. We need you now to make sure that the discrimination stops completely in Dhangadhra. Call to Action: Call the Deputy Superintendent of Police on +91 9909913989 and ask him to give men and women equal number of shifts. Remind him that there is no place for discrimination at a work place in this country.
Views: 10657 VideoVolunteers
Nagri Movement: The Land is Like Our Mother
 
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"The land is like our mother. We cannot sell it, and we cannot live without it." The demands of the residents of Nagri, a small, primarily tribal village 10 km to the north of Ranchi, seem straightforward enough: to be allowed to continue cultivating the land that has always sustained them. This aspiration is unfortunately under threat. For over a year now, the government of Jharkhand has been involved in a campaign to take away 227 acres of agricultural land from its adivasi owners in order to set up the Ranchi campuses of IIM, IIT and the National University of Study and Research in Law (NURSL). In today's video, IndiaUnheard Jharkhand State Co-ordinator Anand Hembrom documents the people's movement against this ruinous operation. The government claims to have acquired the 227 acres in 1957--58 for an expansion of the Bisra Agricultural University under the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. Out of 153 raiyats (tenants), however, only 25 had accepted payment at the time, with a large majority of 128 refusing to sell. In his article in the Jharkhand Mirror (http://jharkhandmirror.org/tag/nagri-peoples-movement/), human rights activist Gladson Dungdung also discusses how the Land Acquisition Act should not technically apply to Nagri which is located in a 5th schedule area where the Chhota Nagpur Tenancy Act is in force. At any rate, the university was never expanded and the issue lay buried for the next 55 years. The villagers continued to farm their land and even pay revenue on it. It was only in 2008 that they discovered they no longer had a legal claim to it when 13 acres were casually allotted to the construction of a ring road. Then in 2011, the disputed ground was distributed among IIM, IIT and NURSL. Peaceful at first, the raiyats sought redress at the Jharkhand High Court and the Supreme Court, and even addressed an appeal to the Governor. Meeting with rejection everywhere, they grew desperate and took to the streets. On the 4th of July 2012, angry protestors broke down the boundary wall at the IIM construction site and were lathi charged by the police for their act of rebellion. They responded by going on strike and putting up road blocks. The movement then gained momentum, with support gradually coming in from different political parties and organisations. Anand Hembrom, who was present on the scene, discussed the ground situation with us: "The movement started out as a peaceful protest. The villagers sat at the construction site for at least two months. They practically lived there. Someone would cook food, and everyone would eat and sleep in the fields. FIRs were lodged against protestors and the people started to grow agitated. After the breaking of the IIM boundary wall, the state grew violent. The police conducted a lathi charge and many persons were seriously injured." What did the High Court say when the people pleaded their case? "It dismissed the plea and ordered construction work to be started at the site. The Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court is actually also the Chancellor of the Law University. This is a conflict of interest. Later, when the people continued to resist, a High Power Committee was formed to investigate the issue, but nothing concrete has come of it." And the Supreme Court..? "The Supreme Court threw away the case file without even looking at it. The judges said that the land had been acquired in 1958 and that they saw no reason to interfere in the matter now. But that's not true. The land was never properly purchased." What exactly do the people want? "They want their land back. Their livelihood depends on it and their identity is defined by it. They would not sell it at any price, even if the purchase proposed were a legal one. At the moment, they are being cheated and exploited by the State. It is not that they are against development, but they need their agricultural land. They even offered the government some ground 5 km away in exchange. The terrain there is infertile and cannot be put to use by farmers, but that should not affect a university campus. It is also closer to Ranchi. But the government insists on taking away the cultivable fields around Nagri, without even giving a proper reason why." So what is the situation like at present? "The movement has grown quieter. Paramilitary forces which were deployed after the protests of last year are still stationed at the construction site. The broken boundary wall has not been rebuilt yet and all work is at a standstill. The people have recently submitted another petition to the Supreme Court, and we hope very much that this time the verdict will be different." Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C39q/
Views: 1563 VideoVolunteers
Lives Wasted In Gutters
 
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Two manual scavengers were killed while working without any safety masks or gloves which necessarily have to be provided by the government. Men -- particularly from the Chuhar, Mehathar, Halalkhor, Lalbaghi, Bangi, Thotti and Jamadar lower castes -- are commonly employed as manual scavengers and sewage cleaners in India. These caste subgroups are generally referred to as Valkimis. A Valmiki is considered to be the lowest of the low in the caste hierarchy. In Ludhiana, 90-95 percent of the Valmiki community are engaged in this horrendous work; everyday their lives are under threat and their dignity is taken away. In this video our community correspondent, Jaikumar, highlights the dangers of this work. He urges the government to make safety provisions for these cleaners who work in sewers; the drains often contain abnormally high percentage of carbon dioxide, varying amounts of methane, hydrogen hydrogen sulphide and a low percentage of oxygen. When cleaners are directly exposed to these gases they fall sick and even, as this video shows, die immediately. Jai Kumar speaks about his community, "Members of my community are poor and there are high levels of illiteracy. They aren't aware of the dangers attached to these jobs or of other opportunities available. It is crucial that they educated about the risks involved. Only then will they be empowered to demand safety equipment and even an end to this practice all together." Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/CZ5O/
Views: 33801 VideoVolunteers
Need to preserve - A Tribe's Oral History
 
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Oral history of the forest tribes of Goa awaits documentation, revival. Devidas Gaonkar is a forest tribal who has been regularly reporting on issues that concern various forest tribes of Goa. These issues include illegal mining, depleting level of groundwater, corruption, land grab etc. In this video, Devidas highlights the need of preserving Sarantari -- folk music that captures his tribe's genealogical and cultural history. Sarantari songs have been sung by the tribe for several centuries. These are songs about their professions, art, culture, religion, social traditions etc. Most of the community's elderly population cannot read or write. So, the tribe still doesn't have a written history of its own. The folk songs which are passed on from one generation to other are their only oral history. However, this history is now under threat as the young generation is not interested in learning the songs. One of the reasons is that they find the traditional songs slow and boring compared to the foot tapping modern music that they hear elsewhere. Also, there are no books or CDs or any other materials that can make these children aware of the songs and why they are valuable. So, few are interested in sitting with an elder and spend hours learning or singing the traditional songs. As a young tribal, Devidas finds himself caught in a dilemma. He understands the great value of the folk songs which are his community's only history that exists. But he also knows that young children will not learn them unless this value is explained to them or made available in a more attractive way. The solution, he thinks, can be through documentation of these songs and making them a part of the school syllabus and also put them in a series of video/audio albums. In Goa, the Social Welfare ministry has the budget and the authority to look after all tribal affairs. Additionally, the ministry also receives fund from the central government to preserve and promote tribal art and culture. Devidas says that since the ministry can take up the documentation of tribal history as a project. If you want to know the plans of the ministry on preservation and promotion of art& culture of the forest tribes of Goa, you can contact the department at this address: Directorate Of Social Welfare, Government of Goa, 18th June Road, Panjim - Goa. Ph No: (91) (0832) 2232257 Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3j3/
Views: 1646 VideoVolunteers
Pink is the Colour of Resilience
 
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Pink is not readily associated with grit, determination and courage. But this is the story of Shanti Lakra, one of 200 female auto drivers in Ranchi. The pink autos were introduced in Ranchi in 2013 after the brutal gangrape of Jyothi Singh in Delhi as a means of ensuring safer public transport for women. Shanti was abandoned by her husband and is the sole breadwinner for her small family consisting of her two children and herself. The training camp for female auto drivers was held close to her children's school. Even though people around her expressed skepticism about her ability to drive or even the utility of learning to drive for a housewife, Shanti pushed on. Today her determination has borne fruit. She is putting her daughters through school and hopes to see them as successful self-reliant women. The autos have not only ensured safer public transport for women but also pushed individuals like her into what was essentially a male dominated profession, dismantling gender stereotypes.
Views: 2729 VideoVolunteers
50 million affected by Arsenic Poisoning in West Bengal
 
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As rural West Bengal’s residents die of poisoning, the local administration claims they have no knowledge of the problem in the area Everyday Jahema Bewa has to trudge miles through muddy fields to get drinking water. While there are deep tubewells in her village, Jahema and others in her village repeatedly fall sick when they drink from them. First they develop angry rashes on their skin. Then the stomach pains start and eventually, the ones who continue to drink the water, will be diagnosed with cancer. The groundwater in Jahema’s village has toxic levels of arsenic. Fourteen out of 19 districts in West Bengal have groundwater in which the proportion of arsenic exceeds the World Health Organisation's recommended limits of 10 μg/litre. This puts more that half of the 90 million population at potential risk of arsenicosis, or arsenic poisoning. Eighty percent of India's surface water is contaminated by sewage. As a result ground water harvested through deep tubewells is deemed safer. The catch is that in areas where groundwater naturally has high levels of arsenic like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam, this leads to arsenic poisoning. Short term exposure causes gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting, bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain. Long exposure causes neurological disorders, lesions on the skin and ultimately leads to cancer and death. The West Bengal government has been aware of the problem since the early 1980s. The first arsenic survey in the state was done in 1988. And in the past, the state has been lauded as the only state in India to have a task-force to combat arsenicosis. The government had even promised to provide one source of arsenic free safe water in every locality by 2013. But reality belies such grand promises. For residents of two villages in Malda and Murshidabad districts, the problem has continued unabated. Several people in both villages have died. The promise to give the villagers access to piped potable water is still a distant dream. The fundamental right to uncontaminated and unpolluted water is guaranteed to citizens under Article 21 of the Indian constitution. And yet people continue to suffer while the local administration continues to claim they aren't aware of the problem. It is a problem that requires the intervention of organisations and individuals interested in 'safe water access' in rural districts, in the face of government denial and apathy. Video Volunteers' Community Correspondents, Soriya Banu and Nesatun Bibi, are committed in their goal of bringing clean, safe water to their communities. Write to us at [email protected] if you have ideas, suggestions or would like to collaborate with us to facilitate access to safe water for the millions of West Bengal citizens affected by this arsenic calamity. Video by Soriya Bano and Nesatun Bibi Article by Madhura Chakraborty See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.
Views: 3366 VideoVolunteers
Jharkhand Tribal Culture, Sohray Festival, Jharkhand
 
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This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Aparna Marandi. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.
Views: 78060 VideoVolunteers
A Poor Man In Kashmir's Kralpora, Kupwara Is Denied His Right To Food - Pir Azhar Reports
 
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Fayaz Ahmad Shaikh, a resident of Warsun village in Kralpora from the frontier district of Kupwara, has been denied a Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration card by the authorities. Fayaz's family falls under the category of BPL according to the guidelines laid down by the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution department of Jammu and Kashmir government. He puts up in a broken wooden shack. Fayaz went from pillar to post to get his legal demand fulfilled but has received no assistance so far. Pir Azhar Reports
Views: 51402 VideoVolunteers
Ganga Jamuna Area Forced Eviction - Alka Mate reports for IndiaUnheard
 
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Ganga Jamuna area from Nagpur of Maharashtra houses were forcefully locked by Deputy Superintendent of Police. Community Correspondent Alka Mate reports from Chhattisgarh for IndiaUnheard. This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent.See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.
Views: 385502 VideoVolunteers
Children need playgrounds!
 
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Watch this video in which the young ones demand playgrounds as right now they only have the streets - where its dangerous because of vehicles and adults who harass them. Success story: The children took this video to their local Collector who agreed to act on their request! Now, this short video is being screened in schools throughout Ahmedabad city to inspire other children! Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3nh/
Views: 3091 VideoVolunteers
I am Nirbhaya
 
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A year ago tens of thousands came out in protest on the streets in India. Angry, hurt and exhausted that it had happened again, another girl had lost her life to a sexual assault of the most brutal kind. The collective Indian memory remembers her as Nirbhaya, the fearless one—perhaps for the legacy she left behind. In many ways it was a turning point for India's battle with violence against women. It was millions of citizens saying that enough was enough. That this HAS to stop. But how? The numbers of cases of sexual assaults only seem to increase. Each day the news brings chilling reminders, and we consume it. Some seething with rage, some passively, because it hurts too much to pay attention. It wasn't the first rape nor will it be the last one that India will see. Statistics indicate that in India a woman is raped every 22 minutes. The conviction rate for rape stands at an abysmal 25%. Add to that the knowledge that most cases that do make it to the headlines come from urban areas and rarely do they touch upon the complex social hierarchies that govern the mentalities that justify rape. Stories of women from the most marginalized communities, Dalits, rural women and tribals, remain unheard. The anger has diffused but not disappeared. We—women, men, feminists, activists and politicians— continue to ask questions and seek answers as to how we can end rape. The reality looks bleak. But the future is hopeful, if only because women across India are beginning to be heard, their desires to govern their own lives are being acknowledged. Everywhere there are thousands of Nirbhaya's rising. These are some of their stories. "Rape will not stop until you stop thinking of my body as an object. It will not stop until you stop telling me what I should do and what I should think. It will not stop until you stop transacting me for a dowry. It will not stop until you think I should cook and clean for you just because you have married me. It will not stop until you stop making a list of do's and don'ts for me. It will not stop until you consider me your equal. And equal not just notionally but equal in rights, in opportunities, in inheritance, in property and everything else you have kept as your privilege. I am Nirbhaya. I know no fear. And I will stop you from stopping me to live my life the way I want."
Views: 9535 VideoVolunteers
Plastic Industry, Toxic Concerns
 
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Malegaon's booming illegal plastic industry causes illness and injury amongst its workers. Malegaon is well-known for its flourishing power loom industry. But since several years, the city also hosts a rapidly growing plastic sector. Numerous factories have been set up in the outskirts of the city, the majority of them illegally. These factories gather plastic waste and melt it in order to make plastic pipes. These plastic pipes are cheaper than the usual PVC pipes, and the demand for them have grown high. The industry provides jobs to approximately 25,000 people, but indirectly provides livelihood opportunities to a total population of 100,000 people involved in the recycling process. "Local officials have been quite supportive to the plastic industry. They see it as a source of employment and as a way to resolve the problem of waste management. They don't want to see the hazardous side of this industry," explained Anand, our Community Correspondent in Malegaon. Indeed, burning plastic releases highly toxic fumes that have a very harmful impact on workers' health. A large -- but totally undocumented -- number of them have developed various types of cancers. Moreover, labourers are working in a total absence of physical, legal, or monetary protection, and accidents are frequent. Be it disease or accidents, compensation is not offered to the workers. "The workers in the plastic industry are really exploited. Their health is seriously at risk. I hope that my video will make people aware of what is actually going on there, and what plastic recycling involves," stated Anand. Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/C3hi/
Views: 8372 VideoVolunteers