chain – community videos


Any smallest place on this planet would be filled with problems. And, its easier than the problems to find people headlining them well enough using all the possible vocabulary known to them. The people who stand out, I feel, are the ones who know there is a problem but use their dictionaries to find the solution and then let that speak for itself.

Recently, what MAM initiated as one of its verticals, is the community videos. The concept is simple – one of our volunteers goes to a community and teaches them the basics of the filming process through which the participants (community) can go out and shoot videos which would depict their own localities in a personalized and understandable way which could be related to very easily, by them and all. The outcome being that yes, we do talk about the problems but we save our words and actions for the solutions.

This shot was taken during the process of one of the community videos program. This lady who is filming is a wife and a mother staying in the slum area of Dharavi. She was one of the participants of the training that our volunteer had conducted and today, she just finished her first short film showing one of the many shades of the area. I’d like to share an incident here that we heard. In Dharavi, it was becoming difficult for the residents to get their rashion card. The person allocating the cards was delaying the procedure by many months for no good reason. The power of film/media got these participants of the community videos to get up one morning and go to the person allocating the cards, with a camera, and asked him to give them a reason on tape as to why they weren’t getting their rashion cards! The outcome – all the people got their rashion cards in the next 15 days!

Today, Neha, our volunteer, has trained 9 such participants the basics of filming which help them to go out in their locality and profile the various faces and lives of their community. Tomorrow, I am sure, when these 9 are ready to train another 9 each, who could perhaps simply continue the trend, it would simply take all of us from imagining the power of this chain to actually going beyond just seeing it. Tracking down solutions and then enlightening them by something beyond talks IS empowering, isn’t it?

For this chain, to live and grow…

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