Shanti Interview - Part 1
Cinematographer: Zulfiya Hamzaki
Duration: 00:24:38; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 44.203; Saturation: 0.122; Lightness: 0.491; Volume: 0.164; Cuts per Minute: 0.162
Summary: Shanti is one of Khabar Lahariya's oldest members. Hailing from the kol
community, her presence in Khabar Lahariya has been
unique, with her strength as a distributor. She joined the newspaper in
2002 when it was formed. Through the years, she has created
an identity for herself as a journalist and as someone people can count
on. She had earlier featured in the film Taaza Khabar (dir. Bishakha
- a much younger Shanti, sitting in her dimly lit home. In this
interview shot in October 2012,
Shanti sits in front of her new home on a land that she bought. She
talks about her experiences from her past, her steady growth as a
journalist, her aspirations
to win the elections and how she's proud of the fact that she has earned
the respect of people wherever she goes.
Manikpur, Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh
Manikpur, block, 2002, district, Chitrakoot
Shanti, one of Khabar Lahariya's oldest members sits in front of the door to her new home and gives an interview. She introduces herself with her name, her place of stay (Manikpur) and her year of joining (2002). Although most of her work covers Manikpur block, sometimes if there is an important story in other districts like Chitrakoot, she goes there too. So it's not necessary that they cover stories only in their districts but they work wherever it's required.
family, support, past, future, Mahila Dakiya, demand, readers, newspaper, Nirantar, Khabar Lahariya
Shanti talks about the support from her family, how they have always supported her in the past, still do and she's sure that they will continue to do so in the future too. She joined Khabar Lahariya after being part of Mahila Dakiya (a newsletter that was active before Khabar Lahariya was formed). After Mahila Dakiya stopped its production, there was a demand from the readers for a newspaper, so Shanti recounts how Kavita (her colleague) and few others from Nirantar (a centre for gender and education based in Delhi that supports Khabar Lahariya) discussed about the need for another newspaper and Khabar Lahariya was born.
distribution, beginning, problems, leg, interest, language, unique, read
Shanti started with the distribution of the newspaper at Manikpur block. She is very fond of distribution, and that's her biggest strength. She was with Khabar Lahariya right from the beginning. Recently for two years she had problems with her leg and so could not do as much work as she used to. Shanti shares her interest to work with Khabar Lahariya and how she feels the language makes it unique unlike other big newspapers that are difficult to read.
Earlier, she had a lot of responsibility to find out about areas of distributing the newspaper. Having done it over a period of ten years, she is now very familiar with the areas and can get to those places much easier than before. Sometime, she is even offered transport by the locals when she needs to go to faraway places. She can now speak to officials with greater authority and get information from them. In the past, she used to wake up in the middle of the night and worry about which villages she needs to take the newspaper to. But now, she knows fully well where she needs to go and what she needs to do. Now news comes to her, rather than she having to go to fetch them. From what used to be very difficult in the past has now become easy.
responsibility, areas, ten years, familiar, transport, offer, officials, authority, night, worry, villages, difficult, easy
challenge, story, bank, bank manager, Markundi, District Magistrate, women, widow pension, cheated, money, newspaper, files, price, burn, distribute, truth, prevail
Shanti talks about a story that was a challenge to do. It was a story about a bank and its bank manager. She gives a little background about how whenever any official comes, they go to visit the village. In Markundi, the District Magistrate had come to meet women regarding their widow pension. Some of the women approached Shanti and told her that they were being cheated of their money and asked her to write about it in the newspaper. After Shanti wrote it and showed it to them, there was a sudden turnaround from the Manager who looked into the women's files. He rushed to Shanti and told her that he would buy all her papers for double or triple the price, told her to burn them all and not distribute it. Shanti held by her word and said that whatever is the truth will prevail.
changes, production, writing, finalizing, stories, team, complete, stay, meeting, day, computers, type, stories
Shanti feels significant changes have occured over the years in production, writing and finalizing the stories. Earlier, with a smaller team, only few of them had to write the stories and would stay up all night to complete it, stay at the office for days and yet it would be difficult to complete the work on time. But now with meetings starting in the morning and discussions wrapping up in a few hours, the stories are finalized quicker within a day's time. The use of computers to type out the stories have also speeded up the process.
readership, interest, sympathy, woman, listen, write, issues, 200, 500, kol, community, respect
Shanti's knack of getting readership is well known. She explains how before, there would be only two to three people interested to read the paper at a time, but now a whole market will take the paper. Sometime, they take it in sympathy of her being a woman and someone who listens to them and writes about their issues. In Manikpur alone, she distributes 200 copies of the newspaper. In total, covering all the areas, she distributes 500 copies. She herself being from the kol (tribal adivasis) community makes everyone respect her and treat her well.