By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 13 Oct: The city today saw the coming together of community members, government officials, and civil society organisations to deliberate on the issue of water stress in urban Dehradun. Creative agency Words Rhythms Images and NGO Aryan Group organised the screening of 10 short films that were developed by community members of Nagal basti, Sapera basti, and Chetna basti.
The screening was to mark the end of the “Digital Storytellers for Social Change” project, which was a year long intervention led by Words Rhythms Images and partner Aryans Group to mobilise and train members from low-income groups to capture videos on water problems in their area. The project, supported by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, aimed to understand how low-income groups deal with and address issues of water quality and shortage within their communities. After an in-depth training on using their smart phone to make simple films, select members from the three bastis captured their own experiences in films. These films were screened during the event.
Government representatives, civil society organisations, social workers, and artists attended the event. Post the screening of the films, there was a panel discussion on the role of storytelling when it comes to social change.
Chief Guest Dr Piyoosh Rautela, Executive Director, Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, shared, “We all know the power of video and film making in today’s age. It is very heartening to know that young people are being trained to capture important messages and they are taking control of improving their lives and circumstances.”
Ajay Bailwal, Assistant Engineer, Peyjal Nigam, shared that the idea of using mobile phones for social change is an innovative one which can lead to some very interesting changes in the future.
Filmmaker Ajay Govind, founder of Words Rhythms Images added, “Films are a powerful medium of taking your story out to the world. Even the simplest smart phone is a powerful tool so why not use it to bring about positive change in your community?”
Founder of Aryan Group, Faizi Aleem Khan said, “We have been trying to find solutions to old problems using old methods. This time we have adopted technology and interactive storytelling methods to make our voices heard. The best part is that we have enjoyed the process immensely and learnt a lot.”