You are Invited to India’s largest Community Media Gathering

Dear Members of the Media,
What will 150 people armed with cell-phone cameras and trained in documentation, storytelling and video journalism be doing, from 29 September through 4 October in Goa? And why will film-star Abhay Deol be joining them on their final evening? 
This is to invite you to come and find out: at a press conference scheduled 12 noon on Friday, October 2, 2015 at the Alor Grande resort in Candolim, North Goa followed by lunch.
 
We also invite you to return on the closing evening on Sunday, October 4th to meet Actor Abhay Deol, Video Volunteers’ Ambassador.
 
These are two of the events of the five-day Video Volunteers National Meet, at which more than 150 Community Correspondents from all across India will be celebrating the significant achievements of Video Volunteers (VV), one of the world’s largest video4change networks, whose Community Correspondents (CCs) have, for the past nine years, produced more than 3000 ground reports in remote and neglected rural areas on topics ranging from caste discrimination to displacement to missing health facilities.  Our CCs continue to upload stories, all imbued with a passionate call for change on key issues such as caste, conflict, identity and education, to our website and our Youtube page, every single day.
 
We would be happy to provide any other information you may require and look forward to welcoming you at the National Meet and the press conference in Goa!
 
Please confirm your participation as early as you can – it would help us greatly with logistical planning!
 
For more information please contact Deepansh, Communications Coordinator, at Deepansh@videovolunteers.org
 
Sincerely
Deepansh, Jessica, Stalin and The Video Volunteers Team
 
About Video Volunteers:
Over the years, VV has partnered with more than 100 NGOs, foundations, media companies and documentary projects and grown in strength. Yet, so much more needs to be done.
 
Picture this: a tribal woman reports on how displacement is hindering children’s rights to education in central India; a Dalit man discusses political representation at local elections for his marginalized community, a woman in labour is turned away at a dilapidated health center and has to trek 3 kilometers to the next hospital to deliver her baby. IndiaUnheard – VV’s flagship community media program which broadcasts on Doordarshan – throws light on such perspectives, making it the first program of its kind.
 
Video Volunteers attempts to bridge the vast chasm that exists between rural India and urban populations, between tiny hamlets and global audiences in an effort to bring about change and development to every forgotten citizen of this country.
 
India is the world’s largest democracy. And yet, most Indians receive no information about policies that are ostensibly for their benefit. Most don’t even know their fundamental rights. Some of that fault lies with us, both ordinary citizens and the media. We neither demand, nor report such stories, often because such developmental problems occur in areas that are hard to reach.
 
In many cases, IndiaUnheard has had a direct and positive impact.  Many of our video reports have inspired the community itself, motivated officials and viewers to take action and address specific problems such as the lack of healthcare, livelihood opportunities and petty corruption in local governance. Currently, one in five videos that we produce manages to solve the problem it addresses. We call such success stories ‘Impact’, and you can watch those and more on the link to our website and the social media links below.
 
 
About the National Meet and the Press Event:
 
Venue: It is taking place at the Alor Grande Resort in Candolim.

The National Meet will focus on improving our ground reports and using them to create change in our communities and on the advocacy issues we are most passionate about. In particular, our CCs will learn to produce stories that generate the powerful conversations we need to have on gender, as part of our newly-launched campaign challenging patriarchy.  They will recap the year gone by and project into the one ahead. There will be deliberations on the exciting possibilities that community reporting holds for both the national and international mainstream media. We will brainstorm on how best to employ data and the powerful medium of the Internet, to disseminate information from India’s remotest hamlets even more effectively and quickly, to the nation and the world.
 
We wish to find answers to some crucial questions. How do we, as storytellers and activists, bring under-reported issues to the forefront?  Are we doing enough to highlight the urgency of social change among poor, rural communities? How can our CCs help you, the national and international media, gain access to the most crucial and yet, the most underreported developmental stories from far flung outreaches of the giant country?
 
Throughout the Meet and the networking lunch after the press conference, you will get an opportunity to interact with our CCs, all outstanding men and women who themselves represent India’s most marginalized peoples. And on the evening of Sunday, October 4, you will learn of filmstar Abhay Deol’s passion for our cause and why he is a Video Volunteers ambassador.

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