By: Mohit Behl
Dharamsala: Jagori Grameen, a feminist grassroots NGO based in Rakkar, Sidhbari, is holding its annual two-month Van Mahotsav in Dharamsala and Rait blocks of Kangra district.
Every year, Jagori organizes a range of events and activities during July and August with rural youth, women and farmers. Each year there is a different theme for the Van Mahotsav. Last year, the theme was ‘harmful effects of plastic’. This year the theme is ‘preservation of water’ with a special emphasis on protecting traditional sources of water.
Activists from Jagori have already conducted awareness sessions on water preservation in seven schools. Each year Jagori tries to reach out to government schools located in remote ad backward areas. Jagori has also formed 20 youth and 55 women collectives in two blocks of Kangra. Currently, Jagori is organizing village meetings through these collectives to raise awareness on the issue and urge people to take action. People will also be mobilized to do clean-up drives in their villages and preserve traditional sources of water like kuhls, baodis, springs, etc.
In August, members of youth collectives formed by Jagori Grameen will also perform street plays based on the same issue. Jijivisha, a film on importance of water will be screened in 30 villages. Each film screening will be followed by a discussion with people in the village. Tashi Delek Radio, 90.4 FM, a community radio station based in TCV School, Dal Lake, will also broadcast programmes about Van Mahotsav throughout the month of August. Information booths will also be set up at public places like markets and bus stands where information relevant to the issue will be disseminated to the public. Jagori Grameen along with the district forest office will distribute plants to panchayats and people in the village for plantation. Herbal, fruit and fodder producing plants will be given to people.