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Charkha Vikas Samvad
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Charkha Vikas Samvad
SPECIAL INAUGURAL ISSUE, VOL 1, BIMONTHLY, AUGUST 2004
Charkha Vikas Samvad
 
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Friends,

Greetings from Charkha! It is with great expectation we have taken a first small step in establishing this on-line network of communication, about our plans and activities in working with the rural marginalized and disadvantaged communities.

Our efforts will be to empower these communities to get their rights and entitlements through communication. Joining us in this endeavour are our supporters, activist partners and the Friends of Charkha. We plan to use a suitable and appropriate blend of media and enable the communities and rural reporters to access the information required, thus giving them an opportunity to be heard by opinion leaders and the officialdom.

This e-Newsletter will be both in Hindi and English. We hope that besides giving you an idea of our progress, achievements and challenges we will have the benefit of your continued support, advice and suggestions, which will be received by us with a deep sense of gratitude.

We will give the highest priority to the column Letters to the Editor, and would appeal you to keep this initiative sustainable through your interactions. We believe that this will assist us in further fine-tuning our activities and programs.

The launch is taking place in the auspicious Independence week, a year that marks the 10th anniversary of Charkha.

I know that this initiative would have made the Founder of Charkha very happy indeed.

With my very best wishes,

Shankar Ghose
President


FEATURES

The Suffering of Divided Families in Kashmir
An article written by Ishfaq-ul-Hassan

A poignant story of Kashmiri families who are torn due to border tensions read more


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

We give the highest priority to the column Letters to the Editor, and would appeal you to keep this initiative sustainable through your interactions. We believe that this will assist us in further fine-tuning our activities and programs. write to us


COMICS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Charkha has been using cartoons and comics as a means of social communication amongst NGO activists, women panchayat functionaries, and movement issues. See this space for a new comic-strip with every issue...
see comic-strip

 

MILESTONE

As we stand on the threshold of the 10th Anniversary of Charkha, we cannot help but think of the young Sanjoy Ghose whose vision it was such as ours. He is our pride, our inspiration and, our guiding force, especially when we have reached our 10th year. Today, Charkha continues its attempt to build a bridge that connects the wide chasm between grassroots activism and the mainline media...
read more

IN THE NEWS
Community Radio Initiative
Charkha, in partnership with Manthan Yuva Sansthan and funded by the World Bank, has launched a Community Radio Initiative...
read more
Media Interface
Charkha organised a media interface to sensitize the mainline media on the grassroots' issues...
read more

DEVELOPMENT DOCUMENTARIES

1. Random Voices in Kashmir
2. Spinning action into words
read more
 

NEW PUBLICATIONS


1. "Sonu ka Sapna Aage Badhna"
2. "Charkha Samvad"
read more

WORKSHOPS

Workshop on Writing and Photojournalism Skills on Social Issues...
read more

A five-day workshop to prepare the draft of the Training Manual, targeted at the rural activists and social workers...
read more
 
Charkha Vikas Samvad
FEATURE STORY

The Suffering of Divided Families
in Kashmir

Article written by Ishfaq-ul-Hassan
 

"I wish I can live till that moment when I will travel by Uri-Muzaffarabad bus and meet my son. I pray to Allah to keep me alive till that moment. And if all goes well and the leaders of India and Pakistan are to be believed, then my dream will become a reality soon", said Joo as his eyes become moist.
 

GARKOTE, URI, DEC 28:

Ninety-five year old Haji Akbar Joo has witnessed many upheavals in life. He has been witness to the tribal invasion on Kashmir in 1947. He has seen the Indian Army's landing in Kashmir to fight the raiders. Joo has also witnessed the division of Kashmir and the demarcations of Line of Control (LoC). Like others, he too suffered the pangs of the division.

His elder son, Khawja Mohammed Younis migrated to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) in 1964 and settled there. After nearly 40 years, this old man is bubbling with zeal. Sitting in a concrete house in Garkote, Uri, just two kilometers from the LoC, Joo is hoping a reunion with his separated son, thanks to the peace process.

Joos entire family is a victim of the division of Kashmir. His son Khawaja Mohammed Younis fled to PoK, leaving behind a wife and daughter who have since has been living with Joo.

 
Aisha Begum, Khawajas daughter narrates
"I was just five years old when my father left. My mother did not marry and devoted herself to bringing us up. It has been a very tough experience but with the support of my grandfather we did not face much of problems. Yet the separation has shaken our inner core. When my marriage ceremony was performed, my grandfather acted as my father. We missed our father terribly. My maternal uncles consoled us. Despite that it was hard to cope with the tragedy".
 

Weeping in isolation and recalling her good old days, Khawaja's wife Zoona Begum has too been suffering in silence. For almost 40 years now she has been under this illusion that time will come when the family will meet again. During this course of time she has contracted many diseases.

 
"When he (Khawaja) fled to PoK, I could not cope with the situation. I was suddenly put to test. But soon I thought that I have to live for my children. Though it was very tough and hard, I somehow managed. I can only say the children missed their father badly", said Zoona.
 

The pain and anguish of separation has left the family shattered.

There is intense suffering amongst innumerable families in Kashmir. Mohammed Din Mughal, 75, of Garkote, has passed through a very painful experience. They were living at Jubli, which is the last village on the LoC. In 1947 when the LoC was demarcated, half of his land and house fell on the other side of fence at.Azad Bara. It was a traumatic situation. Mughal decided to stay on in this part of Kashmir and his two brothers Mohammed Shafi and Mohammed Feroz fled to PoK. Unable to find any means of livelihood there, they went further to Karachi where they have since settled. Speaking about the long awaited reunion with them, Mughal states "In 1982 I visited them in Karachi and it was a dream come true. They too have been planning to visit us, but could not do so because of travel restrictions. Now for the last thirteen years we have no contact with them, no letter, no phone, nothing. We do not even know where they reside currently".

Mughal, however, has a hope that the road will be reopened and he would be able to go to Karachi to find out the whereabouts of his brothers. "Politicians do not realize our pain because they live in cozy environs. Neither they can share our pain. However, they can contribute. And their biggest contribution would be to reopen the Uri-Muzaffarabad road so that at least divided families like us can get an opportunity to meet separated members before death", he said as tears rolled down on his cheeks.

It is not Mughal, Joo or Zoona alone who are suffering; every family in the Valley has a tragic tale to tell. Hundreds of families are suffering in silence. The hostilities of the two countries have left their lives shattered. They are the real victims of the Indo-Pak confrontation. They bear the brunt of tension between the two countries and they are the ones who crave for peace and yearn for brotherhood the most.

In this bleak situation, the cease-fire by Indian and Pakistani armies heralding the promise of peace, has rekindled hopes of a reunion with their separated ones. They see this a silver lining and face the future with optimism. For them, the New Year brings hopes, desires, dreams and aspirations. A year, which they keenly feel, will prove to be a turning point in the history of Kashmir and will bring them a bouquet of happiness. But will their dreams come true? Will the thaw bring respite to these families who have suffered and continue to feel the pangs of separation? Only time will tell.

This article is part of a series of writings facilitated by
Charkha Sanjoy Ghose Fellowship for Peace & Development 2003-2004.

Charkha Vikas Samvad
Please visit our website for more stories of this issue:
Mulayam Tag doesnt help this village
By K. Narayani

This story revolves around the dismal conditions of pregnant women and the lack of basic facilities thereof
read more
  Vasundhra Rajes Hundred Days Planning Riding in two Boats
By Dilip Biawat

This feature traces the gap between Government planning and the implementation of those Plans
read more
   
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Charkha Vikas Samvad
Charkha Vikas Samvad
MILESTONE

10th Anniversary of Charkha

As we stand on the threshold of the 10th Anniversary of Charkha, we cannot help but think of the young Sanjoy Ghose whose vision it was such as ours. He is our pride, our inspiration and, our guiding force, especially when we have reached our 10th year. Today, Charkha continues its attempt to build a bridge that connects the wide chasm between grassroots activism and the mainline media.

The challenges have been many and have only grown. Most NGOs know that the continuation of grants is a tedious process. Moreover, social change is more than a collection of figures and statistics; it involves a gradual change of attitudes and understanding. For Charkha, the challenge is more thought provoking, for we need to make people believe in the efficacy of communication as a tool of social change. It is through our work that we can educate people in the same.

Over the years, we have delved into a myriad of activities; however, the following have been, we believe, our prime achievements:

Feature Service
The growth of the Hindi Feature Service has been significant, with 85 articles having already been published in regional and national dailies in the year 2004. Similarly, articles written in English and translated from Hindi are regularly being sent to such newspapers and journals as Humanscape, Looking Beyond, Tehelka, Green Hope, Grassroots, I4d, The Pioneer and The Sahara Times, among others. We have entered into collaboration with Civil Society, a new monthly magazine, to regularly carry development features and stories, as part of the Giving Voices to the Un-heard.

Sanjoy Ghose Fellowship for Peace and Development
The Establishment of Fellowship Awards to rural writers and social activists for success stories on local initiatives of Peace and Development. As most of the coverage given to Jammu and Kashmir is usually dismal, revolving around acts of terror, political upheaval and border tensions, we felt that the stories highlighting positive and constructive aspects of the development get lost or remain unheard.

The Sanjoy Ghose Fellowship for Peace and Development, supported by the Unniti Foundation (India) and the National Foundation for India, initiated for the year 2003-2004, is an attempt to encourage writers working with development issues at the grassroots in the Kashmir Valley. Moreover, it is an attempt to get the message across that the people of Kashmir themselves desire peace and harmony and are steadfastly working for it.

Development of Alternative Media Comics for Social Change"
One of our most innovative efforts, Comics for Social Change is an expression of people, by themselves, of their problems and issues relating to development through cartoons and comics. This initiative explores the immediate impact of the images and pictures that are so much louder than words successfully used in villages through posters and wall magazines.

The Sanjoy Ghose Fellowship for Peace and Development, supported by the Unniti Foundation (India) and the National Foundation for India, initiated for the year 2003-2004, is an attempt to encourage writers working with development issues at the grassroots in the Kashmir Valley. Moreover, it is an attempt to get the message across that the people of Kashmir themselves desire peace and harmony and are steadfastly working for it.

We were able to assist in the establishment of the Mizoram Forum for Advocacy and Learning (MFAL)
This body of intellectuals, academicians, media persons, PR experts, artists and writers will work in synergy with Charkha in our efforts to explore the potential of communication linkages in Mizoram and consequently providing us an opening to other states in the Northeast region. Charkha believes that this region is a much-neglected area and deserves media attention not only on the issues of political insurgency, but also with regard to the constructive aspects of social development and peoples initiative.

We believe that the vast and the myriad forms of communication have been rather underused as a tool of development. We have used for our purposes an interesting blend of appropriate media ranging from print media to wallpaper, comics for social change, community radio, folk theatre, puppetry and the Internet. Over the next five years, we will be exploring further the use of audio-visual media, while strengthening our base in print media.

Looking back, we realize we have come a long way. This 10th year offers us an opportunity to sit back, evaluate our programmes and activities and strategize a better future. Over the years, the paths have been traced and re-traced and yet the mission remains the same to enable the voiceless and marginalized people of rural India to speak for its own, on its own.

In the mean time, we only hope to evolve and to grow as facilitators or catalysts to influence the lives of these people in a small yet significant way.

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Charkha Vikas Samvad
Charkha Vikas Samvad
COMICS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
Comicstrip Aug'04

Comic strip created by Mr. Pradeep Srivastava, Raipur, Chattisgarh.
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Charkha Vikas Samvad
Charkha Vikas Samvad

IN THE NEWS

Community Radio Initiative
Charkha, in partnership with Manthan Yuva Sansthan and funded by the World Bank, has launched a Community Radio Initiative in Angara block in Ranchi, Jharkhand, to provide the people with the skills and the resources to generate their own radio programme. The first phase of the study i.e. an Audience Research Survey to study need-based assessment, is in the process of completion. Based on this study, Charkha will be developing a radio programme, which will be aired by AIR, Ranchi. The programme, its content and its design will be developed by the communities themselves, in their own local dialect, with such programmes as drama, development news, folk songs and phone-in programmes. This innovative effort is based on Charkhas mission to use community radio as a tool of development communication.
Charkha Vikas Samvad

Media Interface

A Media Interface was held on 29th March 2004 that brought together social activists, community-level workers from the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal and media representatives from such newspapers as the Hindu, Bhaskar, the Hindustan Times, Rashtriya Sahara, Rajasthan Patrika, Amar Ujala, Civil Society and the Statesman, among others, to discuss the role of media in supporting development issue at grassroots and in such aspects as food security, gender discrimination, and implementation of government schemes at the ground level. The media interface helped in sensitizing the mainline media on the grassroots issues as well as providing an opportunity for the rural writers to understand the nuances of the mainline media, so that their stories can find place in the same.

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Charkha Vikas Samvad
Charkha Vikas Samvad
DEVELOPMENT DOCUMENTARIES
"Amidst all the mine blasts and bullets that run through the valley of Kashmir, lie a huge population of people who do not have a voice no matter which land we talk of. They are too small to be bothered about. Their voices, too nave to be heard and their world view, though small, usually offers humility, love and peace. Given a chance- a rare chance- they speak of hope, of peace, of love, of brotherhood"
Random Voices in Kashmir
Random Voices in Kashmir
Directed by Dr. Parvez Imam, this film was screened at the Charkha Sanjoy Ghose Fellowship Awards Ceremony. The film was funded by National Foundation for India.

*Price to be provided on request
Spinning action into words
Spinning action into words
Directed by Anindya Roy, this 15-minute film captures Charkhas process of empowering village communities in such locations as Pithoragarh (Uttaranchal) and Dumka (Jharkhand).


*Price to be provided on request
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Charkha Vikas Samvad
Charkha Vikas Samvad
NEW PUBLICATIONS
Sonu Ka Sapna
Sonu ka Sapna Aage Badhna:
Supported by the Hunger Project and published by Charkha, this colour booklet portrays the need and an increasing importance of the role of women in local governance and participatory democracy. At the same time, it encourages young girls to dream big and realize them.
Charkha Samvad
Charkha Samvad:
A Hindi Newsletter. This has become a popular platform for exchange of information and issues, carrying feature articles by writer activists. Drawn from the five states, the newsletter serves to be a catalyst in making the voices from the grassroots to be heard.
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Charkha Vikas Samvad
Charkha Vikas Samvad

WORKSHOPS

Workshop on Writing and Photojournalism Skills on Social Issues was held from 20th to 24th February 2004 in Dehradun, Uttaranchal, targeted at the rural reporters and grassroots activists. This was coordinated by Himalayan Study Circle and supported by British High Commission.
Charkha Vikas Samvad

A five-day workshop was held in March 2004 in New Delhi to prepare the draft of the Training Manual, targeted at the rural activists and the social workers. Theoretical inputs from grassroots writers, social activists from the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan and representatives of national newspapers such as the Hindustan Times, Dainik Bhaskar and Jansatta, among others, were invited, to design its content and the resources. The Training Manual will be finalized by Charkha, with inputs from regional coordinators.

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Charkha Vikas Samvad
Charkha Vikas Samvad
CHARKHA STAFF
PRESIDENT & CHIEF FUNCTIONARY
Mr. Shankar Ghose

EDITORIAL
Mr. Aman Namra, Resident Editor
Ms. Pratibha Jyoti, Associate Editor Hindi
Ms. Sujata Raghavan, Associate Editor English

OFFICE ASSISTANT
Mr. Firat Singh, Office Assistant
Mr. Gajraj, Office Assistant

PROGRAMS
Ms. Sunita Roy, Manager Programs
Ms. Indrani Dey, Assistant Editor English

ACCOUNTS
Ms. Manju James, Manager Accounts

ADMINISTRATION
Mr. Sanjay Mishra, Manager Administration

ASSOCIATES
Ms. Viji Balakrishnan
An eminent journalist, researcher and consultant on development of proposals, initiating projects and documentation of the same.

Mr. Atanu Roy
A leading illustrator and a creative consultant on visual media.

Mr. Anindya Roy
An eminent filmmaker on development issues and consultant on the audio-visual media for Charkha.

Mr. Swaraaj Chauhan
Senior journalist who has worked with the Statesman, The Hindustan Times and is now a freelancer. He provides us the essential media linkage.

Mr. Tapan Dasgupta
A veteran economic journalist who provides us an important link with the mainline media and the grassroots writers.
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CHARKHA: 9/11 Block F, First Floor, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi 110017
Email: samvad@charkha.org Phone: +91-11-26680816, 26680688


Charkha Vikas Samvad