Writing Skill Workshop State Resource Centre, Jaipur


Objective of the Workshop

The workshop was aimed at building capacities amongst the participants to write for the media on development issues, with a focus on highlighting voices of marginalized communities and issues relating to women in particular.  Since all the participants were already associated with NGOs / CSOs working on one or more issues in the field, it was only a matter helping them to articulate their work. Charkha through its feature service provides them with the ideal platform to highlight all the issues which till now were only known to either them or the people they worked with.  Through Charkha’s feature service the issues will reach not just the people, administration and policy makers in the State of Rajasthan, but also people, administration and policy makers at the National level.

Participation

18 participants from various NGOs such as Educate Girls, Centre for Unfolding Learning Potentials (CULP), Rajsamand Jan Vikas Sansthan, Girls Not Brides, URMUL Trust, URMUL Semanth, etc. and one freelance journalist, attended the 3 day writing skills workshop.  The participants were from the districts of Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Tonk, Duasa and Jaisalmer.

DAY ONE

The participants were asked to introduce themselves.

Charkha CEO, Mario Noronha gave a brief introduction about Charkha and its work and Consulting Editor Mr. Shams Tamanna described the main objective of this workshop.

After that, the participants were divided into groups and asked to write out after discussing among themselves what they felt were the most important issues that needed to be highlighted.

The groups identified the development issues that Rajasthan is facing.

When all the groups had identified the issues, they made their respective representations. The major issues that each group identified and discussed were:

Issues highlighted by each group after lengthy detailed discussions 

  • Child Marriage
  • Menstrual Hygiene
  • Water scarcity
  • Domestic violence
  • Education – High dropout ratio of girls as compared to boys
  • Climate change
  • Healthcare – Women and adolescent girls & boys
  • Silicosis – A disease caused due to the excess of silicon deposits in the lungs
  • Discrimination due to caste system
  • Corruption
  • Practicing of witch craft in the villages
  • Veiling (ghunghut) practice

Participants shared their concerns and views, and what the people and the organization they are associated with are doing to address the above mentioned issues.

During the workshop, the founder member of Charkha and Vice-Chancellor of Haridev Joshi University of Journalism and Mass Communication, Mr. Om Thanvi and senior journalist Mr. Ramesh Thanvi guided the participants on how to improve their writing skills and also on how to be responsible writers.

DAY TWO

The second day sessions were conducted by Mr. Mario Noronha and Mr. Shams Tamanna. They talked about different forms of communication, media and its types, and the importance of print media. They talked about the importance of 5 Ws and 1H – 5Ws & 1H – What, Where, Why, When, Who & How in news.

Participants were also made aware about news reports and features. Moreover, they were taught how to identify the issues and write about them. The importance of facts and figures, verification, collection of data, and bytes in the articles so that the readers would find them credible and trustworthy was also stressed upon.

Mr. Tamanna talked about, “A picture says a thousand words”, and why photography is important in news.  In addition a short film on the work of Charkha and importance of writing titled “Dakri Ki Bakri” – produced by Charkha was screened.

A short video on the importance of mobile photography and its various techniques by an expert was also shown to the participants.

Before the second day wrapped, all the participants were asked to identify the issues that they would write about. Once they had identified their topics, they wrote on various development issues that the people in their societies are facing.

DAY THREE

The last day began with the participants sharing about their experiences of the workshop. The importance and far reaching capability of writing through print media, and how it could bring about positive changes in the society was discussed.

The participants were also informed about various awards that rural writers are awarded with including Charkha’s very own Media Award named after its founder Sanjoy Ghose, and how they too could aim for such awards and fellowships.  

After many years, Charkha did a purposeful, positive and successful workshop in Rajasthan. It has also been the karmabhoomi (Workplace) of the Charkha founder in the past.

Charkha hopes that not only will articles concerning development issues continue to be sourced from here, but also the purpose of Charkha – To create sustainable two-way communication networks that enable under-served and vulnerable communities to benefit from development mechanisms and advocate for policy changes – will be fulfilled.