Women farmers prove they can handle cameras too

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Bangalore, Jun 19 (UNI) Women farmers have proved that not just sickles, but video cameras also are child's play for them.

A 20-member women's collective team of the Community Media Trust from Andhra Pradesh, by exhibiting their works on a multimedia publication - 'Affirming Life and Diversity: Rural Images and Voices on Food Sovereignty' at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan here, have proved that they were also well versed with documenting rural activities.

The documentary was an action research project on sustaining local food systems, agricultural biodiversity and livelihood, supported by the International Institute for Environment and Development, UK.

The Trust, affiliated with the Deccan Development Society (DDS), a leading development organisation of Andhra Pradesh, was created to document images and voices of rural women. Its objective was to create an alternative media that could be accessed and controlled by local communities, especially those who have suffered exclusion. Of the 20 women, 17 work in the digital video format, while the rest work in radio.

The event was jointly hosted by the International Association for Women in Radio and Television, Centre for Advocacy and Research, and Network for Women in Media.

Lakshmamma, a community member, said ''initially, I was scared of these delicate equipments like camera. Our hands are rough and are used to handle only sickles. Now after getting trained for four days monthly for eight months, I have learnt how to shoot. Now we use the camera with the same comfort as we use a sickle.'' More UNI MSP GD ARB ND1518

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