The Korchi case study team members Mukesh Shinde, Izam Sai Katengey, Kumari Jamkata, Shubhda Deshmukh, and Govind Hodi (from left to right) attended the Acknow-EJ meeting organised in Bir, Himachal Pradesh from 1st October to 8th October 2018. The team members are actively involved in anti-mining movement and subsequent evolution of a Maha Gramsabha process( a federation of 86 village assemblies), women’s collective, community forest rights assertion, in Korchi area of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, India.
Video interviews with Korchi team about their struggle (Hindi only):
The discussions at the meeting and subsequent screening of a film on the history of Lomerio people led to the desire for a dialogue between the two communities. The meeting contributed to the new process of ‘Global Worldviews dialogue’ aimed at sharing the articulations that compose of various practices, beliefs, ways of being with dignity, peace, respect.
Below are some general reflections shared by Korchi team about their participation in this gathering.
Izam bhao: we did not know that things are happening at this level. People are struggling with similar conflicts across the world. People in Korchi do not know what is happening outside Korchi or India. This makes me realise that we should take these learnings to the people and broaden our understanding on these issues. I think we will try organising some sessions with people on what we have learnt, and translate some of the material in local languages. Taking all of this back to people is very important.
Govind bhao : I got to understand that so many people across the world are suffering in similar ways, so many lands are occupied and so many people displaced.
Kumari tai: getting to know about these struggles gives direction to our work. Especially learning about the Raika women, we never thought of pastoralist nomadic people as also sufferers, listening about them was insightful. We realised that all of us are in some or the other way suffering and that we need to understand each other. Across the world, people’s forests, culture is being threatened and we will discuss this in the next meeting of Maha Gram Sabha and Mahila Parishad. We should initiate a regional learning process on these things.
Shubhada tai: we realised that all these processes have common threads. Collectivisation, to me, seems to be running as a common theme in all these case studies. Watching the Lomerio movie was inspiring. We should also try making a movie on our own history and think about ways to involve youth in it. We must also think about ways to take this idea of ‘transformation’ to people. Until now, only a few us have discussed this report but we need to go back to local people especially women, youth and discuss with them, try knowing what they feel about it.
We need to have a discussion on what are their dreams? Because we are constantly told not to dream, especially as women we are always discouraged. Such discussions cannot happen in a group meeting. We need to sit with them and devise new ways of talking with people. A fuller wellbeing can only be achieved if these discussions happen along with other work.
Mukesh: This meeting has given me insights on the following aspects-
1. To look critically at all our all activities
2. Every ideology has a critique
3. Values are critical to transformations
4. Looking at the old values and acceptance of some modern values like women’s property rights, relooking at marriages, alcohol consumption, and that our culture is also scientific is also a significant process.
5. Process could be confluence of ideologies or could result in a people’s alternative framework.
6. People are capable to deal with conflicts but creating alternatives to keep their worldviews intact is a crucial next step.