Our NGO partners are scattered across the nation and the Community Video Units (CVUs) they sponsor represent a myriad of languages and communities—from from the largest slum in Asia to remote tribal villages—reflecting India’s incredible diversity. Video Volunteers strives to ensure that the most under-represented voices have an outlet through the CVU, and collectively, the Community Producers are 25% Dalit, 25% Muslim, and 25% Tribal. More than half of the Community Producers are women.
Though CVUs are currently spread among seven states in India, Community Producers feel connected to each other. They regroup annually at the All-CVU Meet, which is our intensive training camp. Many of them have developed deep friendships and stay in touch via SMS (text messaging).
Below are short profiles of the various CVUs alongside a highlight of the sponsor NGO that supports the CVU’s core work on local community issues (as well as the NGO’s own thematic areas, such as, Dalit rights, water, education, gender, and tribal rights).
Apna Malak Maa (AMM), Gujarat, India:
This Community Video Unit is an all Dalit team. Supported by the Dalit Rights NGO Navsarjan, the CVU’s mission is to create dialogue between ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ castes in an extremely caste-ridden part of Gujarat and, also, to project examples of Dalit leadership on the issues of poverty that are common to all.
Apna TV, Mumbai, India:
This Community Video Unit is promoted by the organization Akshara in Mumbai. Apna TV’s five young producers are working to bring the issues of Mumbai’s youths in the slums and to mainstream television audiences.
Chetana TV, Andhra Pradesh, India:
Chetana TV Community Video Unit was started in partnership with Byrraju Foundation. Spread across over 60 villages in West and East Goadavari districts of Andhra Pradesh, Chetana TV CVU highlights issues such as Women’s Empowerment and Child Development. These videos are then shown to audiences in the 2 districts through local cable TV.
Hamari Awaaz, Mumbai, India:
The mission of the CVU Hamari Awaaz, which means “our voice”, is to ensure that the voice and the needs of slum residents are not left out of the discussions about the future of Mumbai, one of the fastest growing and globalizing cities on the planet. They are supported by the NGO Yuva, who have been working with slum dwellers for years to help them formulate their own action plans for the future of Mumbai.
Hamaru Raibar, Uttarakhand, India:
Hamaru Raibar is sponsored by the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust (HIHT) through their Rural Development Institute. It actively functions in 25 villages that are spread across the Doiwala and Raipur block of Dehradun district, Uttarakhand. The CVU makes videos on livelihood, health, water, cultures and traditions.
Click here to watch a HIHT CVU video.
Jawa, Assam, India:
Jawa, meaning “sprout”, launched in partnership with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, is the first Community Video Unit in the North-East region of India. Located in Dimakusi (A part of the Williamson Magor Group or WM group which is one of the largest producers of tea in Assam), Jawa is training tea tribal in community media and video production. This is the first ever engagement of tea tribals in community-produced video journalism.
Jal Chitran, Rajasthan, India:
Jal Chitran was started in partnership with the NGO Jal Bhagirathi Foundation (JBF) that works on the issue of water; in an environment where women have to walk hours each day to get enough water for their families to drink. JBF also focuses on the issue of governance and the CVU fits into their strategy for expanding village-level democracy.
Manyam Praja Video, Andhra Pradesh, India:
Manyam Praja Video, meaning “Forest People’s Video”, is promoted by the NGO Laya. This all Tribal Community Video Unit raises awareness about the Tribal cultures and rights of India’s original habitants. The producers work in an extremely isolated rural area that is largely devoid of other media, be it newspapers or television or some other form of media.
Samvad, Ahmedabad, India:
Samvad, which means “dialogue”, provides critical information of basic amenities and services that are available to slum dwellers in Ahmedabad, thereby strengthening government campaigns and campaigns undertaken by its promoting NGO, Saath.
Sakshi Media, Gujarat, India:
Sakshi Media means “Witness” Media. The producers in this CVU were all witnesses to terrible violence in their district in 2002 when communal riots led to the deaths of more than 2000 Muslims in their state. They are supported by the NGO Yuvashakti, that believes this half-Hindu and half-Muslim team can build unity amongst Hindus and Muslims, by uniting them around their common development challenges.
Watch all videos produced by all the CVUs here.
Learn more about who the community producers are here.