Connecting people: An innovative means to connect the poor and tribal people with the world

On 7th of June 2012, I got an opportunity to interact with a journalist Shubhranshu Chowdhury. He is a perfect role model for the youth; I am very much inspired from his enthusiasm to work for the Tribal people of Chhattisgarh. In the present scenario, so called future generation of India (youths) are running after money. Just trying to get place in a Multi National companies (MNCs) or other avenues where they can easily fetch good amount of salaries and spend a comfortable and luxurious life.
Shubhranshu Chowdhury a Knight International Journalism Fellow worked with many international media groups i.e. BBC, Guardian and others but in 2005 while his visit to home place in Chhattisgarh has brought a change in his life and work. He has committed to convey the sad story of the Tribal people to whole world. He observed that major problem in the area is lack of communication between the poor tribal people and the government. When an intermediate person of government or journalists goes to the tribal areas, they interact with the people who could speak main stream language i.e. Hindi and English or the head of the village that means they are interacting with the high and upper class people. In the rural or tribal areas, village power is in the hand of few upper class or caste. These few upper class groups of people represent the poor majority of the masses. In real sense they cannot interact with the poor Tribal people and their grievances remain unheard.
Shubhranshu came up with an innovative mode to connect the poor tribal people with others. He developed a system with the help of Microsoft Research India, which allows people to use mobile phones to send and listen to audio reports in their local language. This is popularly known as CGnet.
There are many rural and tribal areas in India, still not having any form of media communication. Their voices and grievances are always remaining unheard among the people of India in particular and world in general. This kind of mode of communication (CGnet) need to be initiate in other tribal and rural areas, so that more and more people would be able to participate in the sharing of reports (stories) on behalf of themselves. This is an appropriate way to minimize the powerful people of upper class who always speak on behalf of the poor and helpless people in the rural and tribal areas. At the grass root or local level, still aristocratic form of power exists which need to be change into a real democracy. CGnet is one of the appropriate means to solve these problems. This kind of initiative must be encouraged by the people as well as government.


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