The drum beats and dance chants grow louder. Soon this would be over. The sun would have set and it would be time for the daily meal. Only that meal becomes lesser everyday. I am the woman sitting next to this pot of rice. My heart beats along with the dance steps and drum beat. This is the dance of triumph, joy and pride of men who returned with prize. The dance is Firkaal. But since long the joy has lessened, the triumph is missing and the fear has replaced pride.
Do you ask why??
Hungry stomachs can't convey joy and a community faced with migration cannot display triumph.
But there is an untold story of Sarala,
Pramila, Ashrita, Subola... & others ...
who wanted to bring change in their life as well as of those around them.
This is Janumdih's story ... (a small remote village in Jharkhand)
Morale was broken. One crop farming, lack of irrigation, poor landless laborers, exploitative brick-kilns and Road contracors had converted the tribal people of the region into debt trapped reja and kulis. Thus being socially and economically marginalised, the tribal had lost their self esteem in their own land.
This was the state of Janumdih a few years back but the desire and will of a woman and a man changed it all. The resolve of two people and a band of activists coincided. The woman, Sarala, with a charming smile and steel resolve began with the slogan "Save life! Save green!" begun an initiative to grow green patches. The man, Raghunath, a firkaal dancer and an intermediate educated tribal youth became a passionate activist. Raghu found right direction in Kalamandir, a Jamshedpur based organization working for the revival of traditional art and culture.
Motivation made mute faces talk. Conducting meetings and hearing each others problems in group meetings broke inhibitions. Homebound and shy tribal woman heard stories of other brave women. With the support of a core group of facilitators begun the realization that the individual could bring ideas but the community was the real strength. Sarala took the lead, and started a yaatra in her own village: moving from one household to another, convincing members to come out to start working together: enthusiasm grew and was visible. So what could be their work?
Traditional Artisans - on the path of forming micro enterprise...