Community Correspondents

Sunita Kasera

Sunita Kasera

43-year-old Sunita Kasera is the only female member of the 150 member strong Karauli Press Union in Rajasthan. Sunita feels that Karauli is a backward district that offers little opportunity to local residents. Although Sunita completed her graduation from Jaipur University, after marriage, her in-laws insisted she stay at home. In her spare time, Sunita joined an NGO, Sathya Naval Development, that helps provide access to basic human rights to rural communities in Rajasthan. She learned about Video Volunteers from Sathya and joined as a community correspondent in 2010.

Sunita has made videos on issues ranging from discrimination against widows to non-implementation of the Right to Education Act. She has managed to make successful impacts in many of these cases, be it through fighting with excise authorities to ensure that 20 women received the grant they were entitled to under the Navjeevan Yojna scheme or to put an end to discriminatory practices against Dalit women in Dangariya village through an online petition.  “I try to report on issues that local newspapers don’t take up,” says Sunita. “I am the only woman journalist in Karauli, so sometimes, there may be a small piece on something related to a woman in the newspaper. My male colleagues tell me about it and I pursue that issue because I think I can do a good job of reporting on it. As I am a woman, women feel more comfortable talking to me about their problems.”

Sunita is also interested in documenting the traditional art and cultural practices of her region, which she feels are getting eroded. She has reported on interesting practices like the Sanjhi ritual observed by married men for the well-being of their wives or the alternative way of living of the Gadiyanwal tribe who live out of a cart.

In 2015, she was awarded the prestigious Laadli Media Award for her story that put an end to the practice of untouchability in Dangariya Village in Karauli district and her documentation of the traditional Sanjhi art form that creates gender sensitivity. She feels that her work with VV has earned her a good reputation in her district that has also enabled her to get a job as a legal advisor in a court. “Earlier, people used to know me only as a housewife. Now I have a new identity because of VV,” she says. “My children feel proud of me and tell their friends at school that their mother is a reporter. Every impact that I have made has made me very happy because I have been able to change people’s lives for the better. I want to keep doing good work and want every video of mine to go viral so that it creates meaningful impact.”

Sunita 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 Sunita

No Cards

Sarpanch Pati: The Roadblock to Women’s Political Participation

 
/ November 8, 2017

Twenty-five years after women were given 33% reservation in local self-governance bodies, many women sarpanchs remain faceless wives and daughters-in-law.

An ancient fort wall crumbles due to negligence of Rajasthan authorities

 
/ January 18, 2017

The sleepy town of Karauli in Rajasthan was awakened by a loud thud on a cold, winter night. A part of the ancient fort walls, Masalpur gate, which surrounded the Karauli town for 800 years had finally collapsed due to the negligence it suffered for centuries. As it went down,...

The Bare Life: Discrimination Against Widows

 
/ December 26, 2016

A Hindu widow is supposed to take off all ornaments, wear only black or white, cut her hair short, walk barefoot after her husband dies. It’s a living death for her–she cannot even participate in auspicious ceremonies like weddings, nor is she allowed to remarry. By contrast nothing changes for...

The Bare Life: Discrimination Against Widows

 
/ December 26, 2016

A Hindu widow is supposed to take off all ornaments, wear only black or white, cut her hair short, walk barefoot after her husband dies. It’s a living death for her–she cannot even participate in auspicious ceremonies like weddings, nor is she allowed to remarry. By contrast nothing changes for...

Absentee Doctors

 
/ June 5, 2014

Imagine being sick and going to the governmental hospital to find that there is no one there to treat you.  This is the case in Masalpur where our VV-Correspondent Sunita Kasera reports about her personal experience:  “When I visited this health centre at around 11 o’clock in the morning, I...

Cast(e) Your Vote Wisely

 
/ March 4, 2014

India is gearing up for one of its most exciting general elections ever. With barely two months to go, analysts, politicians, the media, the twitterati are all neck deep in debate about who Indians will vote into power. On D-day, while millions will exercise their right to vote, there will...