Community Correspondents

Mamta Patra


Mamta Patra is an NGO founder and a Community Correspondent.

As a child, Mamta saw her father arrested by police on a fake case. This early experience set the direction for her life, which she has since dedicated to fighting inequality and corruption. Due to the injustice to her family, Mamta has familiarised herself with the laws which are meant to afford the people of her community their rights and privileges. She uses this knowledge in her videos as a means to expose injustice and create change.

Hailing from a farming community in Sambalpur district in Odisha, Mamta has an innate understanding of the implications of issues farmers are facing today. In one of her videos she reveals that despite the allocation of 8 lakh rupees to the West Odisha Development Council (WODC) for the purposes of building an irrigation system, this money was never spent. The result was three years drought:

“I depend on agriculture. It is my only livelihood. Its failure ruins us,” says one of her interviewees.

This commitment to the integrity of small income earners and producers is revealed in a range of Mamta’s videos, including those on farmer suicide, withholding of labourers wages under the MNREGA Employment Act, and the threat of development to agrarian livelihoods. Mamta also takes on caste and gender issues in her videos, which she argues are human rights issues. These include the brutalization and displacement of a Dalit family,“It is a fundamental right guaranteed by our constitution to every citizen to reside in any part of the country and to practice any profession. But this has been violated,” states Mamta.

Her commitment to human rights is furthermore revealed in her video on a woman whose First Information Report (FIR) is refused by police after she is brutally beaten by her in-laws. “If they come to take my son, I will never give him,” says the woman who has been assaulted. In this video, as in others, Mamta succeeds not only in exposing the injustice of this woman’s situation, but she also manages what so many documentarians work hard to achieve – an immediate connection between the subject and the viewer.

Among the other lived realities which Mamta urges the public to demand justice, are those of a small town in Kudi District, Odisha, where 20 percent of the town's population has died of kidney disease. Mamta takes us on a journey where we meet town members afflicted with the disease, as well as the visiting doctor. “Earlier soil and water test has happened but the report was negative. We doubt its result," she says.

While the mainstream media is just watching and does not, or will not, report on the lives of India’s most disadvantaged, Mamta and her grassroots counterparts turn on their cameras and demand that we pay attention. It is with this intention that she founded the NGO Kosjit Vikas Sangathan, and that she continues her work as a Community Correspondent of Video Volunteers.

Videos from Mamta

Community Survey

Even After Seven Decades of Independence, Villages of India Yet To Be Electrified

/ September 18, 2020

The Union government's Soubhagya Jyoti scheme aimed to electrify every Indian village by Mar 2019. But that ambition is yet to be realised.

Poor Mother Took Loan to Bring her Sons Back

/ July 4, 2020

Mother of Prasanta Naik took a loan to bring her sons back who were working in Chennai.

Impact Story

Woman Changemaker lits up dark lives in rural Odisha

/ April 23, 2020

The story effectively depicts as to how change is triggered with mere presence of a Citizen journalist in the most media dark region of India.

No Cards

Odisha Government Continues to Shut down Schools, Denying Right to Education

/ May 13, 2019

Established in 1991, the only primary school of Khasua village in Odisha received a closure notice, depriving children their right to education.

IU Impact: Correspondent claims Community’s right to water.

/ March 19, 2015

19th March | Bhalukhol village, Sambalpur district, Odisha | Mamata Patra Bhalukhol is a modest little Munda village of roughly 30 families. In this interview, Mamata Patra describes the daunting distances she traveled & diffident women she encountered as she claimed a community’s right to have easy access to potable...

Impact Story

Bada Hindol district in Odisha gets ANM

/ February 10, 2017

Auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM), is the first person of contact for any health services in most of the rural areas. But in Badahindol village of Odisha, where only one health sub-center is accessible to 5 villages, the residents have been deprived of health facilities for the last 10 years. The...