- Taijrani "TJ" Rampersaud
Being in VV and working here often reminds me of Guyana, my home. With citizens from or with roots in many places, such as Africa, China, Europe and India, Guyana is a country of great diversity.
Growing up in such a diverse society had its dividends. To begin with, I knew about curry and roti (Indian bread) before I arrived; I have worn ghagras, salwars and saris (female Indian attire) back home, in Guyana, and also know some Kathak and Bharat Natyam dancing; I pray in Hindi and Sanskrit and I’ve read parts of and know about the Vedas, Ramayana and Bhagvad Gita.
So when I arrived in India, I didn’t feel like being in a foreign land as there was a lot I already knew. And yet there was so much more to learn and pick up for me, whether it’s Hindi or other intricacies of a daily life in India.
I have the same feeling while interning with VV.
One gets to see India through so many media – such as films and news. But the work of VV gives a complete picture to the world which is about the same India, yet previously unseen.
One of my tasks at Video Volunteers has been to edit information about videos that are uploaded to the YouTube and Channel19 websites. As a result, I sit and look at every video before I make any changes. Through this task I’ve seen videos covering so many issues - children needing playgrounds, a female rickshaw driver, street artists, the need to care for pets, water problems, educational problems, land rights and this list can go on. These videos show both positive and negative versions of the Indian society; as the masses see it and through them one discovers and learns a lot about the real India.
I might never get to meet the producers of these videos but for some reason, I feel like I know them. They come across as sincere, objective individuals who are willing to take that step to make a change instead of just talking about making a change.
At birth, I was named Taij/“Bright” due to being born in the Hindu religious period of Naav-raatri that preceeds Diwali - the Festival of Lights while Rani/“Queen” follows because my parents though it was a nice ending for Taij. Thus, the name Taijrani.
My name might mean “Bright Queen” when put together but I have seen brighter queens (and kings) associated with Video Volunteers. They are the people who utilize their time to create very moving content to share with the world about the problems they face through the use of videos. These queens and kings are hardworking individuals who are involved in research work and production of videos that address problems from health and water to lack of proper educational systems and discrimination. They are fearless in their tasks as they bring to the front problems affecting their societies; they are the voices of the marginalized, truly brilliant leaders!
In this video, our community correspondent Mohanlal Sheelu is participating in a program commemorating the ex-soldiers of INA. From the Ghoradongri block of Betul District, Madhya Pradesh, around 200 people had joined the Indian National Army.
Villagers of this South Goa village finally have an all-weather road.