Charkha's 15th Founder's Day marked in the capital

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New Delhi, Dec.9 (ANI): A quiet celebration was held in the environs of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti in the national capital at Tees January Marg this week to mark the 15th Founder's Day of Charkha Development Communication Network.

The day (Dec.7) also marked the birthday of Sanjoy Ghose, who, as a grassroot social activist, penned a column on rural issues called 'Village Voice' for a leading daily in the early 90s. It brought home the power and reach of the media to highlight issues of the rural marginalized sections to reach out to policy makers. Charkha was founded on this premise. Today, it runs a Trilingual Feature Service in Hindi, English and Urdu to further the cause. ddressing the august audience which included Chief Minister of Delhi Hon'ble Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, Chief Guest, Dr. Mirai Chatterjee, Coordinator Social Security SEWA (Self Employed Women's Association), talked about the crucial role of communication and information tools in social action on the ground. Charkha's skill building sessions for grassroots communities are geared towards this.

Binoy Acharya, Founder Director of Unnati Foundation Gujarat was the Guest of Honour.

Social activists from different regions of Charkha's work were also present at the function to share their issues, perspectives and the importance of interventions in communications in bringing about change.

Narayan Jee Chaudhary, Coordinator Mithila Gram Vikas Parishad, based in Darbhanga district of Bihar, who works with flood affected communities, on this occasion shared his experiences with farmers who were promised cash compensation by the government for crops destroyed by the floods. The lacuna in the system was highlighted by a local newspaper, which led to the resolution of the issue in 13 districts.

Mohammed Iqbal, President of People Action Group for Inclusion and Rights(PAGIR), a disability network in Leh district, Ladakh, was also present on this occasion.

Iqbal said that rather than undermining the talent and capabilities of disabled persons, society needs to be inclusive and open up opportunities. He said Charkha has played a stellar role in this.

Through an article on him sent by Charkha Features and published in Yojana, a magazine brought out by the Planning Commission of India, a disability network in Bihar contacted them leading to mutual sharing and networking.

Also through Charkha intervention 350 Kgs of newspapers were flown gratis by Air India to Leh for use in making recycled paper items for sale by his network.

The event saw convergence of several people who had benefited from Charkha's work to draw perspectives from the ground on development issues.

Afsana Rashid, a Srinagar-based journalist on this occasion spoke of the immense growth in her perspective. From daily reportage of events in an area of conflict, Afsana and several other fellow journalists were able to take out in depth articles on social issues.

In the flood-prone districts of Bihar, Charkha empowers rural communities to share information for coping with the recurring disaster and articulating their perspective through the media for corrective policy action.(ANI)

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