Media Centre for Asia
Democratic and Participatory
Potentiality of Community
Video in India
Dr Ankuran Dutta
CEMCA, New Delhi
The purpose of this study was to examine the
growth and development of community video
in India and its’ impact in democratizing the
community’s voice to point out existing
challenges and opportunities.
This research explores a few initiatives of
community video production in India and
tries to identify the approaches of these
Our simple conceptual framework on the
term goes with two phases- common and
unity (common+unity)*, whether it may be of
geographical, identical, cultural, virtual or
homogeneity in speaking language and
Indian community radio policy justifies with
geographical community, but in case of
community video, the scope is there to
narrow down from geographical description.
* Concept by Dr Anamika Ray
Understanding Community Video
Community media can be described as the
tools of horizontal communication to gather
and share information.
It is a podium to converse the issues of a
particular community for overall development.
Community video is a development
communication tool considering the objectives
of the medium and is participatory in nature.
Community Video Initiatives in India
The concept of community video or
participatory video was mainly evolved with
the Fogo Process in Canada.
The community video emerged in India with
the initiation of the Kheda Project.
This project was launched in 1975 and 607
community television sets have been
installed in 443 villages of Kheda district of
Centre for the Development of Instructional
Technology (CENDIT) started producing
community based videos (may be) in the late
Video SEWA was first came into existence in
1984. Giving the technological training to the
grassroots level people and advocacy the
rural development remained as the center
concepts from its very inception.
Drishti was founded in 1993 by a team of
media professionals eager to use their skills
and passion to cultivate awareness of gender
justice, grassroots development, and human
rights in India.
Video Volunteers has been able to train 300
community producers. Excluding more than
thousand online viewers, 300000 people
attended 2200 time community video
Digital Green has produced over 2,800 videos
in more than 20 languages, reached 3,000
villages and over 330000 farmers.
Deccan Development Society, a Hyderabad
based non-government organization, is one of
the oldest community video producers, who
began a series of video workshops for rural
women in January 1998.
Apna TV is founded in 2006 by Akshara, an
NGO based in Mumbai that works for the
rights of women.
Khobore Aamra is founded in 2009 by Child in
Need Institute (CINI) based in Kolkata that
helps mothers and children in India.
Hamaru Raibar is a community video project
founded in 2008 by Himalayan Institute
Hospital Trust based in Dehradun.
Manyam Praja Video is a community video
unit founded in 2006 by Laya in East
Godavari, Andhra Pradesh.
Apna Malak Maa is a community video unit
founded in 2006 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat by
Aina is a Jaipur based community video unit
founded in 2009 by Pravah, which is a Delhi
Samvad, this community video unit was
founded in 2006 by Saath, an Ahmedabad
Sangli Talkies was founded in 2009 by a
voluntary organization Sangram that works in
Hamari Awaaz is a Mumbai based community
video unit founded in 2006 by YUVA (Youth for
Unity and Voluntary Action) a non-profit
human rights organization.
Sakshi Media was founded in 2006 at
Panchmahals, Gujarat by Yuvshakti, an NGO.
Apna Disha TV, is a project of Hope Foundation
in Kolkata, founded in 2011, that works for 35
slums of WB.
Community Communicators is an organization
based in Assam and since 2004 (renamed in
2013), the organization has been involved in
different participatory communication including
community video production.
Community Video Approaches in India
There are many approaches exist in
producing community video in India. The
approach of Video Volunteer is more activist
in nature than a participatory one. On the
other hand, the Digital Green’s approach is
participatory based on co-learning objective.
Approach of Video Volunteer
The CVU produces one video magazine every
eight weeks on different social issues. Topics
are selected by an editorial board of
community members, the CVU team and the
NGO. One video magazine is screened every
eight weeks month in 25 villages or Bastis
(slums) and finishes off with calls for action.
Existing Approaches of community
video production in India
Based on different approaches of community
video production and delivery mechanism,
the researcher has tried to identify five
models. These models are fundamentally
based on the motive or objective of video
production and its’ process of production and
Model of Co-learning/ participation
for community empowerment
Model of establishing identity
– The medium of video plays a significant role in
establishing the identity of the small or minority
communities in the common social dais.
Model of development process archiving
– Archiving is an important objective of community
media. Developmental activities and other good
practices are recorded for future reference and
Model of access to information
– To access the information, community video is the best
alternative in parallel to the traditional folk media for
Proposed Model of
Community Video Production in India
The pre-production should be based on the need
Production and post production will be done by
the community under the supervision of experts,
Dissemination and delivery will be of three tire
– screening at community places
– through networking of NGOs and
– using New Media that includes social media
The volunteers will not be salaried and they may be
known as community video journalist and will work
Community studio can be established and a
community gate keeping system can be adopted
The produced videos will be exhibit at community
hall or common place of the community and
simultaneously should be uploaded in the social
media platforms for worldwide exposition.
A very limited external funding is required, which
can be arranged from the local Panchayets or
government and from NGOs.
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