Community Correspondents

Amit Kumar

Amit Kumar

Amit is a social activist and farmer from Obrail village in Gaya, Bihar.

It was his engagement with PACS (Poorest Areas Civil Society) that introduced him to Video Volunteers.  Amit works for rural, disenfranchised communities, and has covered issues of caste, education, land rights and water in his district, otherwise world-famous as a pilgrim and tourist destination.

“Since I had worked with the community before joining VV as well, I had instilled enough faith in them towards my work, and they knew me extremely well. The only doubt I had about my VV work was whether or not the community would be supportive of the new medium (videos). I was also using it for the first time, and no doubt, it was very challenging initially but I have been able to convince them well, and they now believe that videos are a great way to provide testimonies, even better than writing applications when trying to resolve issues. I screen my videos for them, and they watch with great interest since the medium presents the situations exactly the way it is, and does not get lost in between words. It asks for immediate attention.”

Dashrath Nagar, named after Dashrath Manjhi of The Mountain Man fame, found its spot on the national map when politicians and celebrities started visiting and building statues and memorials for Dashrath Manjhi. Such attention would make anyone wonder what leaps that village has made in the years after the film. Unfortunately, very little. Even the availability of basic amenities is still a far cry from the ideal. A water tank was installed in the village with multiple access points but the connection was soon discontinued due to multiple leakages in the pipeline. Amit decided to report this issue and made a video taking verdicts from the village residents. As soon the video was shown to the concerned Public Health Engineering Department,  the magnanimity of the mistake was soon realised but despite recognising the problem, no action was taken. Thanks to Amit’s determination, the people of Dashrath Nagar had running taps within a year.

It gives Amit great joy to see himself in his videos; his job as a Community Correspondent gives him immense satisfaction. He believes that his work being acknowledged by the panchayat and other local administrators has given him a new identity in the village. An extremely observant person, Amit is always looking out for people with stories, whether on the field, as a farmer, or a traveller; he is always willing to provide support in whatever manner possible.

“The thing about community media is, that it is not plastered and ornamented, it is simply honest information by the people. And my work is not just to showcase it but there is a goal attached to it, it is aimed at bringing change. Shooting an issue is not just a one-off thing, it’s important to follow-up and that’s how it becomes goal-oriented”, he says.

Videos from Amit

Dalits left vulnerable due to lack of ownership documents

 
/ October 30, 2015

“People belonging to the Yadav community threaten to evict us from our lands”, says Kamala Devi, a member of one of the 50 Dalit families residing in Dhakwal Bigha village. These people have not received their documents regarding ownership of the land they have been living on for the last...

No water in school: Students walk for hours to quench thirst

 
/ November 13, 2014

The nearest well to the Upper Middle School of Kailashpur is in the neighbouring village of Indrapatti. Students must walk there — miles away — in order to get drinkable water since the school doesn’t have a hand-pump.Community correspondent Amit Kumar reports from Bihar’s Gaya district on the deplorable state...

Not a drop to drink

 
/ July 9, 2014

No water to drink! Broken wells dry up quickly.  Unsafe toxic water in hand pumps.  The water comes out black or turns yellow when kept in a vessel.  This is what residents from Kailashpur have to face everyday.  You can change this today.   Call to Action:  Pressure the Village...