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

12 Rescued from Bonded Labour

/ February 28, 2014

On a July afternoon in VV’s Goa office, a phone call rudely interrupted the rain soaked stupor of the office. IU Community Correspondent Shanti Baraik was in town and needed help rescuing twelve people working as bonded labourers in Margao, in South Goa. Bonded labour, if you believe the Government...

Tribal children of Jharkhand denied Vaccinations since Three years

/ November 7, 2016

Children of Jharkhand are being denied necessary vaccinations because of the neglect of the authorities in the area. Deep in Jharkhand’s Gumla district, children have not received the vaccination in their village since three years. The new and expectant mothers of the Kurdega village have requested for a mini-anganwadi (...

Impact: Widow Pension Helps Woman Take up farming in Jharkhand

/ August 29, 2016

Sikranti Devi is a rural woman’s role model today. A widow since eight years, and partially blinded, Sikranti has taken life in stride as the head of her household. By becoming a farmer in Jamdih Bardanr, in rural Jharkhand, she earns her livelihood and educates her five children. But her...

Video Volunteers Impact: Water connection restored in Tati Village

/ July 9, 2016

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. Shanti Baraik, Video Volunteers correspondent from Jharkhand decided to tackle the issue and got the community together to file an application to the Block Development Officer. The...

Villages Health Centre in Jharkhand closed for a year

/ February 17, 2015

February 17 2015 | Rampur, Jharkhand | Shanti Baraik The Village Health Centre in Jamidh has been closed for a year, and the doctor only visits occasionally. Residents of Jamidh have to go as far as 60 kilometres for medical attention. “The doctor only comes during child deliveries, he doesn’t...

Incorrect BPL survey vexing Somra

/ December 15, 2014

In Jamdih village of Kamadara block, Somra munda and his family of 7 is living without a roof from several months. He works in the fields as a daily wage labourer and earns a mere income of 120 INR to support his wife and 5 kids. He barely manages to...