Featured Fighting for Change: The Story of Bihar-Based Journalist Amir Abbas

We believe that marginalized citizens have as much of a right to be seen and heard as the privileged do. Today, technological advances make it possible—we believe imperative— for journalism and developmental decision-making to become more inclusive and bottom up.
When that happens, better decisions will get made.

We believe that strong alternate voices in the media – representing a diversity of genders, cultures, castes, religions, geographies and socio-economic groups – are crucial to a vibrant democracy. But the fact is, on any given day in India, only 2% of content in mainstream media addresses the issues of the rural areas, where 70% of the population lives. The media does not, yet, show us the real India.


“Who creates the news is as
important as what the news is.”
Jessica Mayberry, Founding Director, Video Volunteers

VV empowers India’s poorest citizens to right the wrongs they witness, using the most evocative medium there is. Our flagship initiative, IndiaUnheard, is the news agency for India’s disenfranchised communities. It is India’s only reporting network focused exclusively on providing broad coverage from the poorest, most media-dark districts in India. And it’s all produced by people living below the poverty line.The videos on this website show you India through the eyes of those living today’s struggles, believing that the world – and in particular, social issues –  look demonstrably different through the eyes of the marginalized.Consider how much more knowledge you can gain when you listen to those closest to the problem.


As one of our Correspondents put it, ‘How can you know what a stomach ache feels like if you’ve never had one?’
You can join our movement for a media based on the idea of self representation—of people speaking for themselves rather than being spoken for by politicians, experts or fly-in-for-a-day journalists—by watching and sharing our content.
Or indeed, by taking action. You can join our Correspondents—these bold heroes creating solutions every single day in their villages—by  taking the concrete actions that accompany many videos.

Learn how to join our network or produce stories with it
Find videos on issues you care about

  1. Innovations in media and technology will enable communities to earn a living through their creativity and local knowledge.
  2. Every community will have access to journalists whose loyalty is to the community, not corporate media interests.
  1. Crowd-sourced content and the spread of internet into villages will give communities access to the content they want – on their rights, on government programs, on jobs and community issues.
  2. The voices of thousands of citizens will join in to amplify every cry for justice, and community needs will be heard in the spaces where decisions are made.
1 in 5 videos solves a problem
watch the impact videos
Working now
Produced to date
community members
joining the actions
Social movements,
NGOs and community
organizations supported to
tell their stories to the world
Government Officials
Reacted to our videos by taking
positive action against corruption
and poor governance
3.5 million
people benefiting
from the solutions

Community Monitoring

The world is struggling to address major gaps in the data related to poverty. Often the data is missing; sometimes it’s corrupt. These gaps make it hard for decision-makers to design effective programs.

The best way to solve that is by enabling marginalized communities to gather the data themselves in their areas. Because when they do this, they use the data for action.

VV Correspondents conduct field surveys on hand-held devices on issues like the Sustainable Development Goals; these are then turned into infographics and social media content that inspire people to be part of the change. We also analyze our database, an important record of India at a time of transition, to make available to others the unique qualitative insights in our database.



Not all problems can be solved at the local level, and so we often create campaigns with leading advocacy organizations at the state, national or international level.


Key Partnerships

We work with many different kinds of groups including:

  1. The Indian national broadcaster Doordarshan, with whom we produce monthly programs in five states; CNN IBN, the Indian CNN affiliate; and many leading Indian online media outlets such as NDTV, Scroll, IndiaSpend, Youth ki Awaaz and News Laundry who get thousands of views to our stories.
  2. Hundreds of social movements and NGOs whose stories we narrate and who we work with on advocacy and research.
  3. The Video4Change network, of which we are founding members, which works towards the vision of a global community media movement.
  4. Networks like ESCR-Net, Girls Count, the Community Radio Forum, and the White Ribbon Alliance, with whom we advocate on specific issues coming through in our content.