Development in our country continues to elude the ‘last man’. In large tracts of rural areas, individuals and communities face exclusion, sometimes in multiple forms.
They remain bereft of ways to access information on their rights and entitlements, on existing programmes and potential avenues to improve their lives. Their issues and perspectives remain largely missing from the mainstream media.
Charkha’s focus is on this last man. It sees communication as the key to empower rural marginalised communities enabling an access to information and to articulate their issues. It sees the mainstream media as a potent force to reach these issues to the policy makers and governance systems at the local, regional and national levels.
Charkha effectively uses the power of the mainstream media to articulate the concerns on the ground and reach these to decision makers at every level..
The Buzz Now
Charkha Founders Day
7 December is celebrated as Charkha Founders Day, marking the birth anniversary of its Founder, Sanjoy Ghose. This event held in Delhi every year becomes the occasion to share Charkha work with a vast circle of supporters drawn from civil society, media, donor organisations and the government as well as personal friends and family members. Over the years it has also served as an apt platform to announce the awardees of Media Awards for writers in the state of J&K, supported by Unniti Foundation.
This year Charkha celebrated its 21st Founders Day at the India International Centre, New Delhi.
Delhi has always been a magnet for artisans, craftpersons, folk musicians, dancers and theatre groups from across the country. The Crafts Mela held every year at Surajkund, Faridabad, close to Delhi is a mega draw for citizens of this metropolis who are treated to a breathtaking range of craft items and entertainment, rural-style!
Charkha editorial team set out on 11 February, to the 30th Surajkund International Crafts Mela. For the team of four armed with notebooks and cameras, it was a stellar opportunity to not only absorb the colour and gaiety of the Mela but to interact with craftspersons and draw out stories.
Workshop on Writing Skill Development; URMUL, Bikaner
One of the biggest challenges facing young girls in rural Rajasthan is early marriage, often when they are legally underage. Backed by convention that sees girls as a burden on their families, it actually makes them vulnerable, denying them access to education, overall development and health. URMUL Setu Sansthan, working in the area for close to three decades, began a unique intervention, Balika Shivir that from 1998 offered intensive residential courses for girls to study uptill Standard XII. From 2014-15 , URMUL has begun B.A courses for girls who want to study further.
Charkha was invited to do a workshop to impart writing skills for the media to the girls studying in Balika Shivir.
Violence against children is all too often unseen, unheard and under reported. UNICEF has announced an initiative that urges citizens, lawmakers, journalists, filmmakers and governments in India to speak out more forcefully to fight violence against children, with a special focus on child marriage and early childhood development, as part of its campaign ‘End Violence against Children’.
The Charkha and UNICEF partnership would address the aforementioned issues by implementing communication activities in such as writing skills workshops with college students, dialogues with Screen Writers, Theatre Persons and Journalists and features/articles on the issues to be published on Charkha Web Portal.