Video Volunteers’ Impact: A Village comes together to help Gangu get compensation

Gangu Paharia, a resident of a remote Jharkhand village was desolate when wild elephants ravaged his home last year. The elephants had destroyed everything that was dear to him- his yearly ration, seeds meant to be sowed for agriculture and his house. However, the administration of his district in Sahebganj was apathetic to Gangu’s woes and denied him compensation which amounts to Rs 10,000 per hectare, for the agricultural loss that he had incurred. As he struggled to feed his family Sanju Malto, our Video Volunteers correspondent in Jharkhand stepped in an made a video which highlighted Gangu’s problems.

Armed with this video, Sanju set out to mobilise the community into action to help Gangu get his rightful compensation. In the coming three months, she held various community screenings in the nearby villages and initiated a dialogue with the communities.

Together with the residents of villages, Sanju submitted a collective application urging the authorities to compensate Gangu and his family at the District Forest Office (DFO) in Sahebganj and persistently pursued the matter with officials at DFO to get a concrete solution. As a result, Gangu received his long-due compensation.

As he received the compensation, the first thing Gangu did was to secure ration for his family. “The compensation will help salvage my situation for the time being. I also supplement by earnings by carrying loads to places,” says Gangu, a relieved man. We would like to thank all the viewers for supporting our cause and lending your voice to make this impact possible.

Call to Action: Call Mr K K Tiwari of the District Forest Division, Sahebganj on +91-8987790430 and thank him for the good work that he has done.

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Sanju Malto.

As more and more forest habitat is cut down to make more homes and farms for a growing population, India’s elephant population and its people are coming into conflict. In Jharkhand, these conflicts are further fuelled by the ever-growing coal and iron mining activities, as been previously documented by Video Volunteers.

Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges.

See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.

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