Bideshini Patel joined Video Volunteers in 2014 and what an inspiration she is. Over the years she has covered more than 200 issue videos and successfully got impacts in more than half of them. She was working with various grass roots community organisations before she joined us, those experiences helped her have an in-depth understanding of ground level issues, and with the media knowledge from Video Volunteers, she could easily fit into the role of a Community Correspondent or a Community Journalist.
The topics she picks up are hard hitting and structural in nature. From forced evictions to domestic violence, she covers a plethora of issues that the residents of her district Sundargarh and nearby areas of Odisha suffer.
Odisha, the place she belongs to, has a major tribal population. Their sustenance hugely depends on the forest produce and local ecology. In 2018, Bideshini got to know the issues of a tribe that are solely dependent on fishing, in Pulgaon of Sundargarh district. That tribe did not have any facilities such as All Weather Roads, Electricity, Schools and even Hospitals.
One of the villagers confided to her about a Government granted land record they got 22 years back, but they have not got any land yet, either from the Forest department or the Government. They complained about this issue multiple times to the revenue officers but nobody took any cognizance of the issue. Worst issue was that they are paying the land tax for 22 years without possessing the land.
The Odisha Government has a scheme of allotting Lands for agriculture and houses for the Tribal communities, but the residents of Pulgaon did not receive the land allotted to them. Bideshini went to the Revenue office with the community elders and the Revenue Inspector instantly agreed to send his officers to show the land and hand over the land to the villagers.
When Bideshini did not get any updates from the revenue office, on her inquiry she found that the allotted land is in a nearby village and the other villagers are not happy about staying next to a Fisherman community and hence objecting to the revenue office. This is another issue that Bideshini handled deftly with rounds of negotiation and empathy for both the villages.
Please see and share this video to appreciate the ground level community workers, who are committed to the cause of societal equity, justice and harmony.
If you ask Video Volunteers’ Community Correspondent Bideshini Patel to rate her childhood on a scale of 1-10, she would probably give it a negative marking due to the neglect and abuse she faced. But if you ask her to evaluate her professional life as an impactful journalist, resolving basic...