Thursday, 17 April 2014

GRETNALTES GIRL EMPOWERMENT WORKSHOPS!


Karin Scheidegger first visited GRETNALTES school on a photography mission appointed by FAIRMED in 2012. Right from the start it was clear that there has to be more to it than just taking photographs for Swiss fundraising needs. More and more I became entangled with GRETNALTES and launched a first successful fundraising activity in Switzerland, providing the organisation with a most needed water-purification plant that was co-financed by 52 people of my personal network.

Studying the mechanisms of the international development work and working in India directly on the base with the so-called "neglected and backward people", it became apparent that those most in need of our support are asked on the last instance what their true needs are. Big organisations with large budgets make elaborate plans that not necessarily meet the immediate needs of the local people concerned and this is why they are still stuck in the "poverty-trap". With the direct and unbureaucratic support of my Indian friends (mainly consisting of time, inspiration and knowledge-transfer), I wish to counter this practice.

In Andhra Pradesh (as well as other Indian sub-states) we face a reality where it is still very common that a 15 year old girl is taken from school (one year before completing her basic education in order to get married to a much older husband that she never even met before. Child marriages and Dowry burdens - despite being officially abolished within the Indian law - are very common.

Pictured below - Padmavati (14) - 2013; just completed the 9th Class at GRETNALTES school - was for the first time in her life asked what future vision she had and what hurdles should be removed in order to fulfill these ambitions. Status April 2014: Padmavati never returned from her summer-holidays 2013 and is now due to get married on 05/05/2014. Her classmates - who completed their basic studies this year - felt upset when I brought back the pictures of last years' future study....


Future Workshop 2014 part 1 comparing Swiss future perspectives with own perspectives (Visuals from BIZ Bern). 

Informal gathering with 10th class girls one day before they are due to leave the school into an uncertain future.




«Mam - no-one has asked us what we really want before - you come back and keep asking... thank you mam!» (Susmita, 15)

If you wish to support my current work in India, creating capacity for girls' empowerment-workshops with future perspective at GRETNALTES school in Morampudi, Andhra Pradesh, South India, please donate to:

PICTUREMAKER PHOTOGRAPHY, Bern, Switzerland - Swiss Postal Account 60-790407-8 // IBAN CH17 0900 0000 6079 0407 8 //  THANK YOU VERY MUCH! 


If we don't do this no-one will!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

HUMAN RIGHTS ARE NOT ONLY FOR 10th DECEMBER

Contract Worker Union Activist Rajkumar is struggling to get RS 5'000 (CHF 71) monthly for sustaining his family. Picture taken in Jammul (Chhattisgarh), India, Spring 2013











Dear friends - if you light this December your Amnesty International Freedom candles in the windows of your cozy homes - please remember my good friend AJAY TG and Mrs Gangotri Sahu the victims of the events that came to be known as *Rawan Incident*.

You can read here the current state of affairs in my Holcim-India discussions and what happened after Ajay was legally "forced" to withdrew his claim against Holcim's Sub Ambuja Cement. There is also a link to a longish interview with Ajay that was published on the Indian Cinema-Portral "passion for cinema". Instead of being an agent for Social Change and Peace he was and still is being criminalized by complicated political structures. http://www.karinscheidegger.ch/blog-18-ajay-tg-the-man-with-a-camera.

Don't forget all the other nameless people encountering daily struggles, intimidations and inequalities in the name of so-called "development" as pawns for multinational companies deprived of basic human rights, victims of society structures. The Indian society is still very much held in the realms of its colonial heritage as well as its traditional structures.

Especially for women in India this is a huge step, leaving traditional burdens and shadows of the society behind and becoming fully respected members of society. Rural India is far away from this reality. More about this in Karin Scheideggers Indian Rural Marriage Report. - Out at some point 2014.

It yet needs a new, overall educated, awake and internationally integrated generation to break such structures up - WE ARE WORKING FOR EMPOWERING THE FUTURE LEADERS OF INDIA! TODAYs YOUTH.


"In terms of absolute numbers India has the 3rd largest number of people on the internet;
 only 11% of the population has access to facilities"....
(somewhere off the net)

INDIEN – was ist schon Indien?! Gerade mal 9% dieses 
Landes entspricht „Indien“ – der Rest ist BHARAT eine 
Ansammlung verschiedenster Kulturen und Traditionen.
Sabeer, Lehrer, Tenali 

Es ist ganz einfach mit dem Fundraising. Wenn 
man nicht fragt gibt auch niemand. Wer fragt 
kann viel bewegen. „People suffer because of 
people“ .! Santosh, Swiss Emmaus India

"Gebildete und talentierte Menschen wählen selten Politik als Karriere. 
Führende Politiker haben oft einen kriminellen Hintergrund und sind
meist schlecht gebildet 
– also wollen die Politiker vielerorts gar nicht,
dass sich etwas am Bildungsgrad der Menschen ändert, denn sie wissen,
dann würden sie nicht mehr gewählt werden." 
Dr. Akshay Kumar, FAIRMED Delhi

Some interesting reading matters:
http://www.womenempowermentinindia.com/women-empowerment-essay/
http://www.publishyourarticles.net/knowledge-hub/essay/an-essay-on-the-empowerment-of-women-in-india.html
http://www.womenutc.com/Dalit_Women_1.htm






SUPPORT GRETNALTES YOUTH-WORK

FAIRMED donation code *PICTUREMAKER FOR GRETNALTES - 961* is still active.

FAIRMED SPENDEN-KONTO / DONATION-ACCOUNT: 30-136-3

Contact KARIN for more information in English - this post is directed at the SWISS DONORS that wish to continue supporting Karin Scheidegger's and FAIRMED's engagement in the GUNTUR REGION OF ANDHRA PRADESH in South India!


The leaders of the new GRETNALTES YOUTH GROUP: Gretnaltes graduates and 9th / 10th Class students of GRETNALTES SCHOOL IN MORAMPUDI, Andhra Pradesh, India - powered by PICTUREMAKER PHOTOGRAPHY 


WIR SIND NICHT NUR DIE MACHER(innen) DER GEGENWART –
SONDERN DIE GESTALTER(innen) DER ZUKUNFT!!


Ausgerüstet mit den wichtigsten Grundlagen fürs Leben und parat für eine ungewisse Zukunft: die Mädchen der GRETNALTES Abschlussklasse 2013 


Der FAIRMED SPENDEN CODE *961 - PICTUREMAKER FOR GRETNALTES* ist immer noch aktiv. Bei der letztjährigen Sammlung für Gretnaltes Schule konnte zusammen mit 49 lieben Menschen Total CHF 4'008.-- gesammelt werden. Diese Aktion, sowie die gute Zusammenarbeit mit Indien und FAIRMED, gab mir Mut weiter zu fahren. Die Aktion war auf allen Ebenen sehr erfolgreich! 

Karin Scheidegger stellt sicher, dass alles gespendete Geld zu 100% der erweiterten Jugendarbeit in der Guntur Region zu Gute kommt. Im Herbst 2013 wurde der Überschuss der Wasser-Anlage-Sammlung (Total RS 60'000 / CHF 950) als Startkapital für die erweiterte Jugendarbeit GUNTUR nach Indien überwiesen. Der Blog AGENCY FOR SOCIAL CHANGE (der durch PICTUREMAKER und unsere Indische KOOL KAT REPRESENTATIVE Yamini Shiva Kumar wird den Prozess weiter Dokumentieren.

RS 60'000 ist ca. 9x das Monatsbudget einer armen Indischen Arbeiter- oder Bauernfamilie.