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Baha Festival

Baha “flower festival” of the Santhals Watch this video to witness the rituals and celebrations of Baha Parab

CJP Grassroots Fellow Ripon Sheikh brings to us exclusive images from the springtime flower festival, Baha Parab, celebrated by the Santhals and other tribes of India. Please Support our fellows so that more such stories can be shared with the world. Know more about our fellows here. To donate visit: https://cjp.org.in/donate Related: CJP Grassroots Fellowship:…

Forest Fire Ayodhya Hills

Ayodhya Hills on Fire: CJP fellow brings us images from ground zero Our grassroots fellows are bringing out stories that are often ignored by mainstream media

CJP grassroots Fellow Ripon Sheikh brings us images and videos from Purulia and areas around Ayodhya Hills where a huge bushfire, reportedly started by suspected miscreants, set hundreds of trees and vegetation ablaze. Youth and social workers, including members of DYFI came out to bring the situation under control in this water-scarce district. Children and…

Iron Workshop Ripon Sheikh

Lockdown brings Bengal Blacksmiths’ work to a grinding halt CJP fellow Ripon Sheikh reports from Birbhum

CJP grassroots fellow Ripon Sheikh investigates the plight of small industries as they face total unemployment and loss of business due to the lockdown, in West Bengal’s Birbhum. Empower our Grassroots fellows to bring out more such stories closest to their hearts and home. Related: CJP Grassroots Fellowship: Meet Ripon Sheikh who documents rural Bengal…

Khowai Haat

Artisans near Tagore’s Shantiniketan face penury and ruin CJP grassroots fellow Ripon Sheikh speaks to artisans and small business owners

Bolpur Shantiniketan’s Khowai haat is a weekly fair, by the Khowai river, where many artisans and artists find their sources of income. CJP grassroots fellow Ripon Sheikh speaks to artists and small business owners to know the impact of lockdown on their livelihoods and how would their income be affected by the shutting down of…

CJP Wednesdays CJP Fellowship

Don’t miss out on CJP Grassroots Fellows’ stories This #CJPWednesdays let's take a look at stories documented by our Grassroots fellows

CJP grassroots fellows are bringing out stories of communities that are often ignored by the mainstream media. From protests in solidarity with farmers in Bengal to daily wage workers’ concerns, from lives of the indigenous tribes to sharing traditional music of the communities that we work with, they have been busy documenting the world around…

Pottery Industry Ripon sheikh

Terracotta tales: When earth, water and fire meet, a story is born Potters are eco warriors, creating biodegradable functional utensils, but the industry is declining

Potters are the original eco warriors. For generations, potters have kneaded clay and water, and their deft fingers have mounded this earthy dough into every kind of utensil imaginable. Their skill is passed down generations, a heritage, that is not merely learned, it is lived. But one cannot live on heritage status alone. Daily bread…

Education is the biggest weapon

Education is the biggest weapon to win the battle against poverty CJP fellow Ripon Sheikh speaks to inspiring Adivasis of Bengal

This report is part of CJP’s Grassroots Fellowship Program, and has been written by researcher Ripon Sheikh, who is travelling around rural Bengal, tracking and documenting social and cultural movements of indigenous people. For this report, he meets inspirational citizens who are working to educate members of the Adivasi communities they themselves belong to, leading by…

Pir Mehboob shah fair

Pir Mehboob Shah Fair: Celebration of syncretic traditions CJP Fellow Ripon Sheikh takes us through this journey

CJP Grassroots fellow Ripon Sheikh takes us through this renowned fair in West Bengal’s Patharchapuri where tourists, from all around the world, come together on the death anniversary of Sufi Pir Data Mehboob Shah. He goes on to speak to small business owners who run their stalls in the fair and have suffered a major…

Will the 125-year old Bolpur Poush Mela be held this year? Visva Bharati University first cancelled the fair, then retracted the cancellation

CJP fellowship 2020 researcher Ripon Sheikh, tracks and documents the confusion, around the massive cultural celebration, and the anger that is simmering over its possible cancellation.  Poush Mela is regarded as a living heritage of West Bengal, one that has put the culture and vivacity of Shantiniketan in Bolpur on the world map. It celebrates…

Bandna Parab: A festival that celebrates light and life A lesser known festival of lights, celebrated by indigenous communities to mark the changing season and give thanks to the land

Around the same time most parts of the country celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, there are many indigenous  communities who celebrate many ancient festivals of their own. Most of these festivals are not yet recognised on the mainstream calendars, even though they are ancient, and are rooted in celebrating the elements, changing seasons, and…

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