Interaction with formal educational institutions
The School for Democracy has organised RTI awareness programme in various Government schools in the area. The event starts with screening of RTI videos (Cartoon, RTI anthem, Jaane Ka Haq). It was followed by an RTI exhibition explaining the history of RTI movement and the MKSS for students (from 6th to 12th standard). An RTI quiz was conducted, based on information from the RTI exhibition and videos shown. A small booklet on RTI was distributed as prize to those students who answered the questions correctly. Concluding the programme a brief message is given on the importance and the role of right to information in a democracy. A brief introduction to School for Democracy and its objectives as an educational institution is also given and the students were invited to visit School for Democracy.
Village film shows
Using films, one of the most popular and powerful mediums of communication, SFD had initiated village film shows to engage with rural community especially the youth and the children. Film screenings were organised in many villages in the vicinity of SFD. An average of 100 to 150 people had gathered round for each show. The event begins with a puppet show. A village kid was randomly picked up to interact with the puppet. Through jokes and puns the puppet show keeps the children enthusiastic.
Once people have assembled in good number for the show, Lal Singh would initiate a brief discussion on democracy and politics. Placing the question “what is poverty and why people are poor” he would explain the ‘politics of poverty’, and its nuances in layman’s terms. His intelligent and powerful articulation would convince the crowd that its lack of ‘jankari’ (knowledge/information) that keeps them in poverty. He would then resourcefully drive the discussion to the importance of learning constitutional rights/entitlements and provide a brief introduction to Loktantrashala, and its aim of facilitating a democratic learning to build a more meaningful democracy. the film show attracts the maximum number of people in a village including the children, youth and women (who otherwise would not have probably turned up for a meeting), and by setting the discussion prior to film screening we ensure that the matter is well-heard and people were attentive.
The Padyatras were normally undertaken along with MKSS. The objective of these Padyatras was to understand what problems the people were facing in their villages & panchayats and encourage them to use the Right to Hearing Act to register these complaints with the government and get them solved.
Support to public campaigns
Loktantrashala extends its support and solidarity to several movements and campaigns that fight for democratic rights. We have actively taken part in campaigns such as the, Pension Parishad, Jan Awaaz, Right to Hearing, Right to Food, Dalit and Adivasi Rights, Jawaabdehi Andolan etc. We often participate and conduct special events for these campaigns. Loktantrashala also offers its campus space and resources to such movements and campaigns.