Community Correspondents

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Aleya Akhtara

I’m from the Bengali community in Meghalaya. My father is Assamese, and after I finished high school I moved to Assam for further studies. I put my MA on hold when I got married - I just completed it recently. Before joining Video Volunteers I used to teach at a private Assamese medium school. I wanted to join the IndiaUnheard programme because it was a completely new field and a new opportunity. Women journalists are a very rare sight in my area. I am the first woman to take up the role of a journalist in my community. People here don’t have a very good impression of the media. They think that if they talk on camera they will be looked down upon or they might fall into trouble with others in the village. That has been the biggest challenge with making videos: people don’t want to talk. Women have to take permission from their husbands and a lot of people approach the village head for permission first. When I was making a story of powerless women leaders, I was chased out of the village for asking questions. I feel that my work with IndiaUnheard has changed my life. I am more respected and appreciated in my community everyday.

Videos from Aleya

Minorities EvictedIn Meghalaya

 
/ March 9, 2011

Violating the laws, rich landlords and corrupt officials continue to dupe poor families in Meghalaya.

Matrimonial Songs Missing

 
/ February 9, 2011

The once widespread Hindu tradition of singing songs to celebrate a wedding is in danger of disappearing.

Nokma: The Powerless Woman Leader

 
/ December 20, 2010

Tribal women in India’s Meghalaya become leaders, but are dominated by male relatives.

Secondary School Drop-Out Rate High

 
/ December 9, 2010

The rate of secondary school drop-outs in West Garohills remains high.

Motherhood: Who is Deciding?

 
/ October 28, 2010

Aleya Akhtara reports on a critical lack of access to maternal healthcare and family planning options amongst women in Meghalaya.

Minorities EvictedIn Meghalaya

 
/ August 2, 2010

Violating the laws, rich landlords and corrupt officials continue to dupe poor families in Meghalaya.

Motherhood: Who is Deciding?

 
/ July 12, 2010

Aleya Akhtara reports on a critical lack of access to maternal healthcare and family planning options amongst women in Meghalaya.

Matrimonial Songs Missing

 
/ June 28, 2010

The once widespread Hindu tradition of singing songs to celebrate a wedding is in danger of disappearing.