Jagrutha Mahila Sanghatane (JMS) celebrated its 16th year on the 28th December, 2015, at Pothnal, Raichur district (Karnataka India). As part of the celebration the journey of struggle was recollected by key women leaders.
(1) A documentary film Hijjegalu (Footsteps) shot over last two years was released by women. The documentary film is made by Vijay.
(2) A photo-essay on the journey of moment ‘Claiming Dignity and Justice’ was released by women. This is a bilingual book which has both the English as well as Kannada versions.
(3) Chilipili Alumni Gather Together – Bonded labour children turn teachers : The most satisfying moment was to hear the ex-students of Chilipili Child Labour School which was run by JMS. Two of the students, were bonded labourers in the land lord’s house and were ‘zero’ literates when they came to Chilipili. They were about 10 years of age. In two years they picked up what other children take seven years and got enrolled in the mainstream government school. They pursued studies against all odds, completed their graduation, also B.Ed and are now working as primary school teachers. The touching moment was when one of them said: Then I was a bonded labour in the land lord’s house. We were not allowed to come closer to them. Now I am a teacher in same village school. Now the same landlord came with his grand-children to me and requested me to look after them well’. Chilipili has given me life. No money can give us the respect that we have received through this education of life’.
Discussion with the Chilipili Youth, many of whom were currently pursuing either graduation and post-graduation, followed the celebrations. They valued the school highly and wanted to contribute from their end to the growth of other children. The youth decided to carry their solidarity forward as a Chilipili Youth Forum.
Mentor – JMS