Pravah is a youth development organization which has been working since 1992, to promote leadership for social justice among young people. Through our work we aim to promote values such as non violence, love, diversity, interdependence, collaboration and sustainable development. Pravah’s work over the past 15 years has been mainly directed towards making a case for youth development. Our core competence lies in developing and facilitating creative and impactful experiential learning initiatives for adolescents, youth, NGOs and other educational institutes. We also support youth startups and other organizations through organizational development and programmatic support. In addition we are engaged in influencing public policy in the field of youth. We are supported in our work through partners all over the country as well as national and international resource organizations such as – The Ford Foundation, Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Wipro, Misereor, National Youth Foundation, Youthreach, Ashoka, Global Fund for Children and Voluntary Service Overseas. Having successfully nurtured a number of initiatives within Pravah as well as within other organizations, we are currently in the process of incubating Pravah Jaipur Initiative- a youth development organization. The details of Pravah Jaipur Initiative are given in the other attachment.
Besides creating an enabling space for young people Pravah Jaipur Initiative is also directly working with young people to inspire them to take on leadership for social justice issues. One of the strategies to achieve the same is the model of Community video unit which we propose to set in Jaipur. It would be one of its kind endeavour in the city through which we would also want to bridge the gap between the youth from the marginalized section of the society and the urban youth. We will inspire youth leadership through Community videos and youth facilitators with our partner Drishti.
Our core activity would be to train local community members in community video production. This training will be conducted by a full time trainer over a period of 18 months to create content related to their lives. The content will be decided by a Community Editorial Board comprising of people who live and work within the community. The content created by the community members will be regularly screened back in the community. The content will reflect the stories of their experiences, their joys, sorrow, struggles, dreams and aspirations in their local dialect or language, through their local cultural art forms and idioms. Thus creating a media owned and controlled by some of the most marginalized and exploited communities in the world.
About our partner DRISHTI
DRISHTI, a media, arts and human rights organization, firmly believe that the future of the media industry is Community Media. The cornerstone of a democracy is a Free Media.
The Community Video Model
The Community Video Unit (CVU) comprises of 8-10 community members who are trained as full-time Community Video Producers. They produce a "Video Magazine" on different social issues every two months. These magazines are screened in around 25 to 30 bastis or villages on widescreen projectors to up to 10,000 people. The video is a tool for us to expand scale and reach, promote awareness and information, and to enable communities to advocate and negotiate with relevant authorities. It also empowers communities with a voice, both locally and globally, when we distribute the videos to the mainstream media. It bridges the literacy barrier and communicates to people in the visual medium they like best. Finally and most importantly it promotes community-led change, through focused discussions and follow-ups with audiences around an "Action Point," in community screenings that often reach the majority of a village or basti.
What is a Community Video Unit?
It is a local production company run by up to 6-10 community members trained in all aspects of video production and distribution.
It has two video cameras, one computer, one TV/VCR and one wide screen projector for outdoor screenings.
It produces multiple videos on a continual monthly basis.
Its videos are seen by up to 10,000 people per month in community settings alone.
It is a partnership between Drishti Media and Pravah Jaipur Initiative.
Each CVU produces Video News Magazine every six to eight weeks. The content of the Magazine is decided by a Community Editorial Board based on viewer feedback and key campaign issues. Different segments might include:
Community News - the issues of poor communities, such as government schemes, local health issues and upcoming events that are not covered by the mainstream news
Opinion Polls - that capture community consensus and call to action on particular issues
Short Documentaries – where they provide information and insight on a specific subject, through varying visuals and narration.
Legal Tips – e.g., what to do if your name is not on a voter’s list
Local Culture and Music - could be introductions to the festivals of another community/religion or capturing local performances for wider dissemination.
Expose/video raids - such as short clips of closed government health services followed by an on-the-fly interview with the concerned government officials
Editorial - where the organization and the reporters take their stand-for-change on the issue and give follow up action points
Local humour/jokes/skits - because we need to make people laugh!
How is it seen?
Our strategy is to bring the programs to the same people, each month. It will bean attempt to match the regularity of a news program as opposed to the randomness of documentaries. One person on the team is full-time on distribution. Every month, this community distributor, travels to different places to conduct screenings, leads a discussion, and initiates follow up action.
Widescreen projection in a village or basti square
Local cable networks
Distribution on VCD/DVDs in self-help groups and NGO networks
National and International Distribution
Our partner Drishti is now working to create opportunities to leverage these voices into the mainstream media by distributing their media on the Internet. They are exploring advocacy campaigns, and starting to work with the mainstream media that is showing a growth in stories from the bottom of the pyramid.
The CVU produces impact at four main levels
It encourages government to take action
The CVU’s premise is that people who know their rights are much more likely to exercise those rights. The videos provide basic legal information, advice on government schemes, and even such simple tips as locations of the local government agencies. Armed with this basic information, local people have the courage and the knowledge to lobby with authority on their own. Government, in turn, is much more likely to carry out its functions properly when it knows it is being watched. The CVU model, therefore, can strengthen democracy by helping fight corruption and by encouraging local people to participate in government.
It encourages local people to take action
All the CVU videos project the message that local people need to take the lead in their own development, and culminate in an ‘action point,’ something concrete and locally do-able. The videos inspire audiences with ‘success stories’ of local people who are making a difference, and the screenings and discussions provide otherwise absent platforms for the community to come together to discuss constructive steps.
It expands the scale and reach of social programs
The CVU screenings draw large crowds—on an average night, between 200 and 300 people, which is sometimes the majority of an area. Many organizations operate on the Self-Help Group model, in which ten to twenty women in that group are an organization’s primary level of contact in that village. The CVU, with its ability to spread messages to much larger group of people, is a very effective parallel strategy for our NGO partners.
It transforms the producers into leaders and activists
Community Producers learn to articulate—and crucially, they learn to articulate on any issue. This addresses a major development challenge today—communities served by NGOs often know how to organize on one issue (say, water, or health) but when a disaster of a different nature strikes, the community lacks the deeper problem-solving skills to address any problem. The CVU provides cross-cutting training in communications, articulation, and analyzing problems that is applicable to any situation.
How Video Creates Change
It communicates in the medium most appealing to people today
It breaks the literacy barrier
It is the most cost-effective way to reach large numbers of people if distributed strategically
It expands an NGOs' reach and scale
It promotes behavior change
TVs and films are present in nearly every village on the planet
It is a powerful tool in education, fundraising, networking and advocacy
It gives a voice to the poor to communicate their needs and knowledge to the outside world
It provides a platform to demand accountability and transparency from those in power
It acts as a forum for communities to discuss critical but unspoken social issues
It encourages 'people's led development', where the call for change is coming from within the community
It develops grassroots leaders and communicators
It provides livelihoods