Highlighting the voices of the tribal communities affected by conflict and violence and enabling improved development efforts in the region through their access to information on State and Civil Society-led development initiatives for the region.
While working with the tribal communities in the Bastar region [More…] over many years, Charkha recognized a strongly felt need among the rural youth and members of local civil society organizations to be heard; and for accessing and sharing information which could form the basis of their taking independent decisions for their well being.
The present activities focus, therefore, on generating writings from the youth on issues as diverse as the need for infrastructure and basic facilities, the changing cultural norms and the severe impacts of the conflict on the rural people.
Residential Communication Skill Building Sessions were conducted with select youth from many districts in South and Central Chhattisgarh. They were introduced to the potential of print media to highlight their voices; and the use of Community Media, viz. Wall Magazines and Newsletters, that would enable the sharing of development-related information among the pre-dominantly tribal communities.
The current situation of intensified conflict has made access to the Bastar region increasingly difficult. While the initial exploratory visit by the Charkha team to the Bastar region was successfully completed in September 2009, the Skill Building Workshop scheduled to be held in Kanker was conducted instead in the capital city of Raipur. The participants hailed from different parts of the Bastar region.
Over the months, several writers from Chhattisgarh, including senior writers, social activistsmany of which are college students from Kanker District, has been encouraged to write on the development concerns of the rural disadvantaged people. The writings thus generated are edited and disseminated for publication to mainstream publications and web portals through Charkha’s Trilingual Feature Service.
A core group comprising socially sensitive youth from Kanker District is also being guided on the creation of a bimonthly newsletter, ‘Bhanuday’, which is expected to become a source of information for better education and other development opportunities for the rural communities.