An act of protest

stories-of-changeVillage: Mudwar. State: Chhattisgarh

A: What has changed?

During the Survey we found that of the 10 teachers allocated to the school, 7 were absent. We had discussion with the village people and it was decided that with our support the youth organization was ready to take up the issue. On being asked one of the teachers was defiant and told us to go ahead and complain to the Block Officer or District officer. He said that he was in any case interested in the teacher’s job. It was decided that the local women’s organization would then not allow the teacher to enter the school.  Few days thereafter the teacher came to the school to mark his presence register, the women did not allow him to enter the school. The act of the women was strong enough to instill a sense of fear in the teacher. The protest had an impact and it resulted in all teachers regularly coming to the school. The teacher who was defiant thought it was to get himself transferred to other school.

B: What has not changed?

Our work in the village attracted the youth to join us. The local youth group formed themselves as the Samta Sainik Dal and there was a meeting. The issue of alcoholism cropped up. The youth decided to impose a self-regulatory system. It was resolved to impose a fine on the people who consumed alcohol. As a result it was noticed that for three months no one broke the rule to consume alcohol. However the local political leader became the person who helped in bringing the Government approved liquor back to the village and hence the campaign was defeated.

C: What has blocked the change?

Both; the Samta Sainik Dal, the youth organization and the women’s organization decided to organize a celebration in the form of an event on 28th December 2015. The community made a donation of Rs. 4000 for the event. It began at 6 in the evening but the event could not be carried forward as some miscreant who did not like such a program tempered with the electric supply.

Story reported by: Mr. Umesh Pradhan

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