Video | Tribals use their mobile phones to raise awareness on local issues – Maharashtra & Chhattisgarh

This is our first film shoot and edited entirely on mobile phone, produced from Dhadgaon block of Nandurbar a tribal district of Maharashtra. We have started making short films on different social issues to create awareness. SBI Youth for India fellow Nitesh Bhardwaj is helping us for this initiative.

Accessed: 23 March 2018

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Tribal boys use mobile phones to shoot short film on local issues

Tabassum Barnagarwala, The Indian Express, Mumbai, August 28, 2017 | Read the full story >>

In Nandurbar’s Harankhuri village, three boys hold their smartphone tightly, directing the camera towards their college principal outside a mud-splattered hut, as he brusquely rebukes two boys for defecating in the open. […]

This scene, part of a 13-minute short film made by a group of over 30 tribal boys, is fast growing popular in the state’s northern most tribal district Nandurbar. It is shown through projectors in panchayat meetings and in self-help groups on small screen of phones to raise awareness on local issues. […]

Ten such boys have phones that have cameras to shoot a scene from different angles. About 20 others write script and act in the film. The boys have uploaded the two films on YouTube, garnering over 2,000 views. […]

Nandurbar, with over 60 per cent tribal population, faces a high incidence of sickle cell. “Road networks and mobile coverage is poor. The quality of toilet constructed is poor. There is a need to show these issues on larger platform. This district receives little media attention,” Bhardwaj added.

The Forest department has now approached the boys, all aged between 16 to 25, to make a short film on environment. “Our films have spurred discussions. Child labour is illegal, but a lot of minors migrate and work in hotels. A lot of villagers have toilets, but they don’t like using it. All our films are based on real life stories,” says Rakesh Pavara, who writes the script for the film and has acted in the film on open defecation. […]

The films have drawn attention of district collector Mallinath Kalshetty, who has extended support to provide projectors to show the film to villagers. […]

Date Accessed: 26 March 2020

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+91-11-42244224, +91-9582909025 or the national helpline Childline on 1098.

“As per a study on human trafficking, the state of Jharkhand has emerged as India’s trafficking hub with thousands of tribal women and girls being trafficked out of the state each year to Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and beyond [while] human traffickers are also involved in many cases of missing children.” – Learn more: Call Shakti Vahini or the national helpline Childline to report human trafficking of tribal girls and womenFull report: The Wire (2 June 2020) | High susceptibility of children in tourism locations | Safe search results “Adivasi tribal bondage slavery trafficking” >>

“Childline 1098 is a 24×7 emergency, free phone outreach for children in distress. It is one of the world’s biggest emergency helpline services dedicated to children, and is considered to be among the country’s largest emergency response systems” – The Hindu, 17 April 2022 >>

By the tribal, for the tribal

V. Kumara Swamy dials into a remarkable system where Chhattisgarh tribals use their mobile phones to file reports on issues affecting the community […]

Bhan Sahu has a question for Bill Gates. She has heard about the Microsoft co-founder’s philanthropic activities and wants to know if mobile communication, like email, can be free. The question has been forwarded to Gates. Meanwhile, the 38-year-old social activist in Chhattisgarh is busy touring and reporting on issues that affect people in the state — using her mobile phone. “My mobile phone is my only reporting weapon,” […]

The system — called CGnet Swara — is fairly simple. Anybody wanting to record or listen to the latest news has to dial a number (080-66932500) and follow the instructions.

“It’s the voice of the tribals in an area where issues related to them are hardly mentioned in the mainstream media,” says Shubhranshu Choudhary, the founder of CGnet Swara […]

Activists rue that the government has failed to address tribal communities’ lack of media access. For instance, there isn’t a single publication in the Gondi script or a radio news bulletin for the 2.5 million Gondi speakers in Chhattisgarh and neighbouring states, says Choudhary. Community radio has also not taken off for security issues.

“The mainstream media in Chhattisgarh cater to the educated middle classes and quite obviously issues related to people living in far-flung areas don’t matter that much. CGnet Swara provides news by the tribal for the tribal,” says Choudhary. […]

And as for the impact on the ground, there are signs that efforts of the citizens, most of them illiterate, are bearing fruit. “I had complained about non-attendance of doctors for months together in a local hospital, but after my report on Swara, I saw that they were back. I feel that it was because of my report,” says Sahu. […]

In the meanwhile, Choudhary is trying to ramp up the system to cater to the increasing number of calls. He is also planning to employ experts of Kuduk and Gondi to edit the news reports filed in these dialects. Sahu, on the other hand, is gathering news — and waiting for Bill Gates’s reply.

Source: The Telegraph – Calcutta (Kolkata) | 7days | By the tribal, for the tribal
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Date Accessed: 26 March 2020

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Secretary, Tribal Cultural Heritage in India Foundation (2010-2022)
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