This year, the short-term Advocacy Fellowships were awarded to 8 applicants from varying backgrounds. The aim is to document key issues and struggles for justice in India, many of which are addressed by the SRUTI Fellows through people’s movements and individual efforts in different parts of the country.
The outcome of the Media Advocacy Fellowship will be a series of short films that cover some of the most pressing issues of justice, rights and dignity confronting marginalized communities India. The broad areas of work are: Right to Natural Resource Livelihood (Jal, Jangal, Zameen); Effective Governance; Education; Caste Discrimination; Rights to the City and Education in mainly the SRUTI Fellows’ area of work, spreading across 12 states: Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The series of films will be used as advocacy tools to share the experience of the SRUTI Fellows and the communities they work within; reflecting the daily pursuit of justice, the people, the wins, the losses, and the challenges and struggles that lie ahead.
The idea is to advocate social issues beyond borders and barriers of language and geographical or social positioning. They would be broadcast on the internet, screened and passed on in villages and district towns, used as advocacy tools at policy making forums, screened in schools and colleges and shared with support partner organizations.
The Advocacy Fellows and films are being mentored and directed by renowned filmmaker Rita Banerji, who has aligned with SRUTI to facilitate and monitor the project. The Fellowship application call (sent across various media, student and social sector internet groups and institutions) drew an entry of nearly 40 applications from which 8 finalists were selected. The Advocacy Fellows were initiated with an orientation workshop to sensitize them to the issues on the ground and introduce them to the SRUTI Fellows. The three day workshop which included sessions with Rita Banerji, Ankit Pogula and Kavita Joshi, was designed to train them to research, script, document and put together the series of films.
The films will be released by September 2011 and will be up on the site for viewing.