Community Correspondents

Shanti Baraik

Shanti Baraik reports from Jharkhand’s Gumla district. Shanti feels that her district is quite backward compared to the other districts in the state. “Human trafficking is rampant in Gumla. There is a lack of employment opportunities here. In the neighbouring Simdega district, programs have been introduced, to train people in mushroom farming, for instance. But there is nothing of the sort here.”

Shanti uses her videos to try and solve some of the problems that her community members face. Shanti’s first video story itself led to her rescuing 12 residents of her village from bonded labour in Goa. “I went to Goa with a couple of women who were related to two of the labourers. When I left for Goa, I had not thought what I would do or how I would actually help free them,” she says. “I acted as per the situation and used my presence of mind. With help from the VV Goa office, I managed to release my fellow village residents.”

Shanti has won the 2016 VV award for ‘Most Consistent Community Correspondent’ for consistently producing videos that document pressing issues and resolving them, and for improving day by day. Due to the success of her efforts in Goa, she feels that she was able to win the trust of her village residents. Since then, Shanti has created successful impacts on several issues, from restoring the water connection in Tati village to reopening a health centre in Jamdih, Jharkhand. “I tend to report on issues that affect women and children more, especially if children’s education is affected. For instance, the video I am presently working on is about a woman having to travel 40 kilometres to get rationed food. This is not only an inconvenience for her but also affects her child because he is unable to get his food on time.”

Shanti feels that her work with Video Volunteers has had a considerable impact on her personal growth. “I have gained confidence in myself after working with VV. Earlier, there was gender discrimination in my home too. There were restrictions on my decision to leave home when I wanted to,” she says. “Now, I go wherever I want without answering questions. Even my family feels proud of the work I’m doing. If people run into my father in the market, they narrate their problems so that he can convey them to me.”

As a result of her work with VV, Shanti has been made a master trainer for the National Commission for Women and Panchayati Raj Institutions in Jharkhand. She has been involved with awareness raising efforts for both since May 2017.

Shanti is also a part of Video Volunteers' campaign #KhelBadal to dismantle patriarchy. The campaign is taking on patriarchy through stories of women and men who face, negotiate and challenge patriarchy in everyday life — at home, at work, at school, in cultural and public spaces. Under the campaign she makes films that capture the nuances of routine, normalised gender discrimination, stories of change and runs Gender Discussion Clubs where lively, introspective conversations around gender equality and patriarchy happen.

Videos from Shanti

Pregnant Women Deliver on Floor As Jharkhand Sub-Centre Has No Beds

/ January 21, 2021

Formal applications to get new beds have been sent thrice to the local administration. But the situation hasn't changed.

No Cards

“It’s Like Women Get Used to Living a Stifled Life”

/ April 27, 2018

Community Correspondent Shanti Baraik reports on cases of domestic violence and abuse and on the structures of power and everyday practices that lead to such violence. Through her videos, she hopes to give more power to survivors.

No Cards

Illegal Stone Mining Takes a Toll on People’s Lives and Livelihoods

/ June 30, 2017

Construction company Shivalaya illegally acquired 50 acres of land and is engaging in illegal stone mining in Gumla, Jharkhand.

IMPACT | Handpump repaired in Tati village, Jharkhand

/ January 7, 2016

In April 2015, I made a video on the issue of access to water in Kamdara block’s Tati village which comes under Rampur panchayat. The hand pump had been broken for 6 months. All the sources of water accessible to the community were dirty or not working at all. I...

When your Gender Determines Your Pay

/ March 29, 2017

In rural Jharkhand, women are earning 40% less than men. But gender pay gap is a global issue - according to the Work

IMPACT: A health center reopens for villagers in Jamdih, Jharkhand

/ October 15, 2015

Under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), each Sub-Centre is required to be manned by at least one Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) / Female Health Worker and one Male Health Worker. In the village of Jamdih in Jharkhand, there was no ANM that would come regularly. In this video you see...

Impact: Combatting Corruption

/ May 6, 2015

In 2005 the government of India set up ambitious plans to bring electricity to about 1,25,000 villages through the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme. In the ten years since, the crores of rupees spent to bring basic infrastructure to rural areas has had an impact. However 44.7% rural household in...

Anganwadi without basic amenities and Water

/ March 2, 2017

“There is a toilet within the Anganwadi, but it is not fit for use.” The neglect faced by Moreng Uraav Ttoli Anganwadi Centre, which is considered as a model Anganwadi (courtyard shelter) centre in Gumli district of Jharkhand doesn’t just end at dysfunctional toilets. This model Anganwadi, which has 35...