ARTICLE 17: A Campaign To End Untouchability

Caste practices have been captured on camera. Local videojournalists have spent the last few weeks documenting untouchability across India and demanding its abolition.  They will be releasing their videos on Saturday 14th April, on Ambedkar Jayanthi as part of our new ARTICLE 17 Campaign. Because these men & women are “community correspondents” they have been able to capture intimate images rarely witnessed by outsiders.

“As a child, I had experienced untouchability at school where I was forced to sit and eat separately from the children of upper caste families,” says 24-year old Community Correspondent Neeru Rathod from  Gujarat, one of the many trained by Video Volunteers who participated in the project. “We wanted to gives viewers the responsibility, as witnesses, to end this age old oppression once and for all.”

For all those who believe that untouchability practices are a thing of the last century, these videos will relate a different story. On April 14, VV will release at least 20 short videos from across the country that will make it difficult to for anyone to deny the continuance of this inhuman practice. Viewers will be urged to petition the National Commission of Scheduled Caste to take cognizance of these videos as evidence of offenses, and to take all steps to put an end to untouchability practices. In affected communities, Video Volunteers will screen these videos and mobilize people to petition the state offices of the NCSC. Watch a preview video of VV’s ARTICLE 17 Campaign.

Appeal to Rights Activists/Campaigners/Social Sector
We need your help in spreading this message globally so that enough pressure can be built on public institutions like NCSC. Please email your suggestions to Stalink@videovolunteers.org or call him at 99235-94636.

About Video Volunteers
Video Volunteers identifies, trains and empowers grassroots media producers who create change in and for voiceless communities in the developing world. With 100 community producers currently working with salaries, Video Volunteers is one of the largest social change media networks in the world. More than 500 videos on topics like child marriage, temple prostitution, insurgent conflict, atrocities against Dalits and peace between Hindus and Muslims have been produced, and more than 17,000 people have taken direct action after seeing one of our films.

Video Volunteers’ work has received awards or funding from Ashoka, The Knight News Challenge, Echoing Green, TED, UNDP, and many others; our content has been seen on Al Jazeera, NewsX, Nickelodeon, MTV Iggy, as well as in countless villages and slums during night time open air screenings and discussions. Viewers can visit our IndiaUnheard website to watch one new community-produced video posted daily.

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