Saturday, November 20, 2010

What a shame - WAVE camera lost in Bilaspur, Chhatisgarh

It makes me sad to narrate this story but I felt that I should share it in the hope that this doesn't happen again.

Priti Jain was the selected trainee from Chhatisgarh recommended by Bhupesh Vaishnav of NGO Shikhar Yuva Manch. She was given a video camera, mic and tripod just like all 29 other main candidates selected for the 9 month mentorship program. Upon returning to Bilaspur, she made a few videos with their help after returning from the WAVE training in Goa. But it was always a struggle from our side to gather pieces of information needed to finish editing the videos they sent us.

Towards the end of the 9 month term, we informed them that we were looking for another organisational partner in Chhatisgarh as our aim was to change partners in order to allow other NGOs the benefit of free video training. Sometime after this, we were called by Bhupesh Vaishnav and told that Priti Jain had come into the office when he was away in Delhi and had taken away the camera. When we called Priti, she said this was not true and that she thinks the other two male staff working at SYM may have stolen the camera while Bhupesh was away and are now trying to pin the blame on her.

We were left disappointed and defeated. There was no way we could find out the truth from such a distance and now we didn't even have the funds to replace the camera. What's worse is that we weren't able to find another organisational partner in Chhatisgarh that could house our camera and do a better job than SYM.

I hope this story points out the grave need for honest and responsible NGOs all around the country. If only some of the mining profits from tribal states like Chhatisgarh could be directed to this cause...

Sapna Shahani.

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