Community Correspondents

Amol Lalzare

Amol Lalzare

State: MAHARASHTRA

Amol Lalzare is an auto-rickshaw driver and a community journalist from Mumbai. He documents life and struggles of the marginalised communities in the maximum city.

Amol Lalzare balances life as an auto-rickshaw driver and a community journalist who is documenting life and struggles of the marginalised communities in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. Previously a camera person in Bollywood, Amol found that the film world does provide for survival, but not enough for the mind. “We were just puppets for directors who worked long working hours, in the background.” Having learned the aesthetics of film-making from the largest film industry in the world, Amol has used this skill to make videos to help residents of his home Sathenagar and millions of Mumbaikars dwelling in slums, by voicing their issues and solving them by holding the responsible authorities accountable.

Amol finds that the city he loves seems to forget its people and leave them behind. Concerned by superficial, surface reporting by the mainstream media, Amol knew that becoming a part of media himself will give better chances to voice the community's real problems.

His first foray into filmmaking was when he was trained by VV as a part of the Community Video Unit for Akshara, an organisation in Mumbai. In the unit, he worked on the video documenting the negligence experienced by the marginalised communities in Mumbai, the financial capital of the country. After the project ended, Amol joined Video Volunteers as a Community Correspondent.

Since then, armed with a hand-held camera, Amol has been documenting a range of issues affecting the marginalised, from poor sanitation to corruption to shrinking spaces in the city and displacement in the slums, where more than half of the city's residents live. He uses the documentation to put forth an evidence-based report in front of the authorities to find a solution to the problem. A case study was written in 2013 about Amol’s work by the Video4Change network. The case study looked at how one of Amol’s videos had led to a bridge being installed over a railroad track, near to a community where many blind people lived.

Amol feels that the mainstream movies and television have ignored to bring a narrative of a lower-middle-class character on the screen. Added to that, the death of single-screen, affordable theatres and affordable channel connections has meant that the lower-middle class has limited access to entertainment and art. His stories fill this void among the community. “They see situations similar to their lives, familiar faces and immediately feel a connection to these stories. A story true in one slum, resonates with another slum,” says Amol. One day he aims to create a television channel, specially meant for the marginalised communities to gain knowledge and entertainment through documentaries and drama.

Videos from Amol

Impact

Urban Slums: Rebuilding the City of Dreams

 
/ March 12, 2018

The popular image of Mumbai that most of us would conjure up in our minds is the Mumbai of glittering skylines and the one of its kind Sea Link. Mumbai is also known for its urban slums, an image that some of us might conjure up and unfortunately, even romanticise.

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Navi Mumbai Municipal Workers Demand Permanent Employment

 
/ February 19, 2018

Navi Mumbai is believed to be one of Mumbai's best-planned areas, but what about the condition of those who keep the city on its feet? 

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Demolishing Dreams in Maximum City

 
/ January 5, 2018

Houses and shops razed by the municipality, led to families living on pavements in Mumbai's Ghatkopar.

The Unsung Heroes of the 2017 Mumbai Flood

 
/ September 15, 2017

Thousands of migrant workers are employed by the BMC for the pre-monsoon cleanup every year. But they are made to work illegally in inhuman conditions.

Children of Mumbai Slums Gang Up for Urban Development

 
/ April 20, 2017

Self-motivated children from Mumbai Slums’ lead the path to bring urban development to their localities

Impact

Community Journalism brings Tuberculosis Clinic to a Mumbai Slum

 
/ March 8, 2017

Kavita had been suffering from tuberculosis for three years and had reached a critical stage.

VV Impact: Man gifts boy car to make his Buggy Dreams come true

 
/ November 8, 2016

Video Volunteers website and YouTube channel IndiaUnheard have reached many unique stories from rural and urban pockets of India, urging many to join hands with our communities causes. Our viewers’ support has to date ensured victories on many fronts. The latest came as a good Samaritan Nikhil Kashyap, a professional...

A 19-year-old builds his own Buggy car through Youtube videos

 
/ October 17, 2016

Prem Thakur zooms Navi Mumbai’s suburban streets in a swank looking buggy car. As he pulls over to the petrol pump, the attendants all pull out their mobile phones to take its picture and Prem, the 19-year-old commerce student beams as a proud father. “I have built this buggy from...