WHAT ACTION WOMEN'S COLLECTIVES WILL BE TAKING
information and talk about what action women can take in different forums:
and credit groups,
meetings of ration cardholders.
a meeting of anganwadi (pre-school) workers
rationing issues in the village assembly gram sabha
a meeting of those who represent the poorest communities to ensure
they get poor
on the Below the
Line or BPL
and display the poster jointly produced by SSP and the district
informing people about ration shop rules.
Mahila mandals can visit offices and get the following:
Lists of households below the poverty line
Lists of households above the poverty line
New information and rules that are part of the new Public Distribution
composed songs, wrote witty poems and performed impromptu plays on rationing
for an enthusiastic audience at the cultural program that continued until
visit shops and check the following:
Display boards for all the relevant information
They can also check the complaints book
They can check if the stock register is being updated regularly.
Everyone used the informal time to catch up on the
latest news from the Mahila Mandals. SSP staff used this as an opportunity
to document women's accounts of recent efforts of Mahila Mandals.
SHARING AND DOCUMENTING EXPERIENCES
journalists present at the ration melava ensured that the rationing issue
and the melava got written about in local newspapers. One journalist was
so excited about the Mahiti Melava being held in his street that he placed
an advertisement in the newspaper announcing the fact!
literally means "information" and the main purpose of the mahiti
melava has been to disseminate information. When SSP began organizing these
melavas in 1993, the information moved only in one direction - from NGOs
and Resource Persons to women's collectives. As SSP and women's collectives
became more experienced in hosting and managing these huge information fairs,
many more actors have begun to participate: and information seems to be
moving in many directions. Women's collectives are not just receiving information
they are also educating others. In short, everyone seems to be taking the
opportunity to find out what's going on.
It is clear that the mahiti melava or information fair, as a learning tool
has come a long way. The Ration Melavas in Osmanabad and Latur represent
refined versions of this tool. The "new, improved version" is not just about
information dissemination. Instead, the new improved version represents
a sophisticated learning tool that highlights the many actors and the multiple
activities involved along with the range of strategies employed to create
a lasting change.
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