Neeru Rathod, a video correspondent for Video Volunteers, works relentlessly to highlight the social issues of marginal communities in Gujarat. She developed a passion and expertise in video journalism, despite coming from a disadvantaged community with limited resources at her disposal.
Neeru Rathod is the eighth child in a family of eleven girls, born to a Dalit construction worker in Surendranagar district, Gujarat. Growing up in the Dalit community, considered untouchables, was quite challenging as caste discrimination often prevailed against her community. Neeru decided to commit herself to end this discrimination by proving her worth to the society. Whilst working in the village, she came across Navsarjan, an NGO working towards rural development and she decided to join their community video team. Soon after, Neeru found her passion and she became a social activist. Through video journalism as her medium, she conducts video screenings addressing large audiences of men & women. She works tirelessly to make them aware about their basic rights and encourage Dalit women to participate more in the community. Neeru’s work has resulted in better access to water, roads and electricity to the villages in her district. She is also working on sensitive issues like creating AIDS awareness in rural women. Neeru is spearheading a revolution that will bring change faster to local communities and shattering the barriers of what a Dalit woman can do!
Main Story- Neeru Rathod is a citizen journalist in Gujarat. Currently, she is screening videos covering issues of women, cleanliness drives and water problems in her community. Her videos highlight the problems of commoners in a very simple and effective manner, ensuring they reach the right forums and actions are taken by authorities to solve the problems. Neeru truly has become the voice of all locals in her district.
Quote- “We gave the headman a chance to do the right thing. He has forced us into using this video as evidence against his apathy to his people’s issues. We are tired of living thirsty. We demand change.”