Community Correspondents

Bikash Barman

As the ‘oldest son’ of his family, Bikash was forced to give up his dreams of joining the Indian Army when his father was rendered immobile after an accidental fall at a construction site. Bikash works odd jobs as a construction labourer and mason and dedicates his free time at Cooch Behar Anasrishti, a local youth organization working on conservation, biodiversity and skill building for local youth. He teaches at the local computer centre in an effort to make available skills he himself never really had access to as a child. Falling back on the years spent at National Cadet Corps, Bikash believes that with discipline and teamwork, combined with a healthy dose of humour, anything is possible. As a Community Correspondent, he seeks to document the rampant environmental destruction happening in his area, and to explore and understand the nuances of cross-border trafficking.

Videos from Bikash

Community Survey

West Bengal Health Workers On Hunger Strike

/ August 24, 2020

Health workers from several districts of West Bengal are on hunger strike demanding better salaries and permanent commission.

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Corruption Plagues the World’s Largest Employment Guarantee Scheme

/ June 25, 2018

The Cooch Behar district administration has been felicitated for their commendable MNREGA work, but workers’ rights find no place in the celebration.

No Cards

When Doctors Don’t Care About Consent

/ December 22, 2017

In a rural government hospital in West Bengal, women are not even informed that intrauterine contraceptive devices have been inserted into their bodies.

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Riverine Erosion Swallows Livelihoods in West Bengal

/ November 30, 2017

For the past 16 years, riverine erosion by the Ghargharia river has been eating away at the land in Coochbehar’s Uttar Kaljani village, while the authorities do nothing.

Impact Story

Village gets Ambulance Service Thanks to a Video, a Determined Community and a Willing State

/ July 24, 2017

Many risked their lives due to the lack of an affordable ambulance service in a village in West Bengal, but things turned around when Bikash Barman made a video.

800-year old celebration in West Bengal

/ August 5, 2016

Rajbanshi tribe celebrate an 800-year-old Gadadhar fair in Cooch Behar. Community Correspondent Bikash Burman shows the celebrations which are attended by over a million people and narrates the history behind the festival. This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Bikash Burman. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities...

Victims of waterless taps and Neglect

/ May 22, 2016

“Our clothes become red and dirty.There’s much iron in the water. We fall sick often.” These woes of Shephali Das echoes the daily plight of almost hundred others from her community. Five years ago, a reservoir was built, pipeline laid and taps installed. But still, hundreds of residents of Banchukamari...

Impact: 250 MGNREGA workers get paid after 18 months

/ April 21, 2016

Ratna Roy, a labourer from West Bengal had toiled hard under the rural employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA to earn her promised daily bread. But her efforts were in vain as the administration of Cooch Behar, West Bengal did not pay her wages for one and a half years. Just like Ratna...