Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stepping ahead with Comics Power

A trainers’ workshop was organized with the workers of sSTEP (Society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection) from 23rd to 25th Dec 2010 at their office in Guwahati. The participants also included people from sSTEP Morigaon and development workers/volunteers from supporting organizations and children.

sSTEP is working with both urban and rural poverty issues in the Guwahati city, and these 18 enthusiastic participants created stories on the issues they encounter most often like child trafficking, environment sustainability issue in Morigaon, woes of the shelterless and so on. The children who participated in the workshop expressed the difficulties they face in their schools due to lack of basic facilities like bathroom and drinking water through the medium of comics. Trainer: Usha

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thinking sensitively...

Young minds seem to think sensitively and sensibly over the issues plaguing our times. From 28th- 30th Oct 2010, Gramya Vikas Mancha with support from Actionaid India organised a comics workshop for children in Anwesha Book Fair held at Chandmari AEC Ground, Guwahati in which children effectively brought out their views over various social concerns.

The participants belonged to T.C Girls’ High School and Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Guwahati. The students were enthusiastic to get pally with a new medium that they had never thought they could also create. Interestingly, the young students expressed their concern over the burning issues of the society such as terrorism and violence. Children also made stories on subjects like child labour, environmental degradation etc. Trainer: Usha

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New medium for new students...

The fresh batch of 2010 in the Department of Communication and Journalism, Gauhati University was welcomed with a comics workshop organized from 29th Sept- 1st oct 2010. Total 18 students participated in the workshop facilitated by Daisy, Momee, Alongbar and Usha.

The students who had just entered the media course got introduced to this unique medium and created fantastic comics on issues important to them such as hostel pressure, animal slaughter, tobacco control, importance of education and so on.

The students were amazed at the power of the tool to reach out to the unheard.

The village speaks...

'Manas Darpan' is a monthly Comics Wallposter brought out by Mushroom Development Foundation together with World Comics India. The Wallposter is being distributed in various villages spread across North East India. Each issue of the wallposter focusses on an issue important to the community, besides popularising mushroom cultivation.

Creating comics at Sofura summer camp

In their annual summer camp that witnesses flocking of children from various parts of Assam in an array of skill development activities, Sofura organized a comics workshop from 9th to 12th July 2010. 28 children developed amazing comics on a range of issues like child labour, excessive pressure from parents to bring better grades, discrimination etc. Trainer- Usha

Little Voices

sSTEP(Society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection), Guwahati organized a Grassroots comics Workshop from 21st-23rd Feb 2010 in Lakhra, Guwahati, with 30 school students of the area. Since Lakhra is very close to the National Highway and many industries have started cropping up all along its way, the place is very prone to environmental problems. Air and sound pollution being the biggest issues of the people, the workshop gave voices to the young minds of the area. The workshop was conducted by Daisy Sharma, Minakshi and Usha.

Apart from the environmental problems, the comics produced also brought to light a lot of other local issues such as elephant killing, witch hunting, alcoholism etc.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

No more cocooning...

Sualkuchi, an imminent village, world famous for traditional Assamese silk textile industry, providing livelihood to thousands of its natives has been facing problems of its own. The idea was to help the locals bring out their thoughts and feelings related to their community faced by the people there through a Grassroots Comics workshop conducted by trainers Hima and Usha from 23rd-25th Januray 2010 at Ganesh Das High School, Sualkuchi.

Comics gave them a chance and a medium to articulate their concerns in four frames. 36 of them created extraordinary stories on real life instances and community issues such as political pressure during elections, domestic violence, a child’s worry over having a weaving-loom at home etc.
The comic here speaks of a story about media being manipulated by politicians to defame each other.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

One little Step….New Ways completes one year…

We look back at the last year and see ourselves struggling, cribbing, fighting and growing…learning from our own mistakes, but at the end of the day it all seems so worthwhile. And here we are now, elated, celebrating our first birthday...all smiles!

The wave continues….

After Nalbari, GVM hosted another Grassroots Comics Workshop from 9th-12th January 2010, at Rangia this time, with support from UNICEF and ECHO on the theme Disaster Risk Reduction with special reference to women and children. Hence the children of different age groups came together and expressed their points of view in this regard.
The children mostly created comics on flood as it is the most annoying and frequently experienced ordeal here. The girls also made comics on how the traditions and social structure adds up to the inconvenience of the womenfolk during disasters as she is the one who remains indoors and looks after the children, therefore aggravating their vulnerability...

Early Warning saves nine!!!

After the first workshop in Nalbari with GVM on Disaster Risk Reduction, this one was meant to reinforce the need for understanding the signals given by nature prior to disasters and taking them more seriously. Therefore, on similar lines, the next in the series was conducted from 23rd to 25th December 2009 in GVM Office Campus by Sushmita and Usha.
Interestingly, it was more of learning than sharing on our part as the issue was something new for us in the first place. A range of indicators to disasters like famine, earthquake, flood etc. were unveiled by means of comics. Some from these 31 participants have formed a comics group to keep the work going!!

Community Creating Comics….

Children of different age groups came together to represent their community concerns at a Grassroots Comics Workshop at Morigaon from 15th to 17th November 2009 organized by sSTEP (Society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection), supported by ActionAid India. Trainers Usha and Hima helped the children articulate the issues that they encounter in their day to day lives. Most children stood up for inadequacies of their school, the road etc. Some comics like those based on forgoing education because of poor economic condition, lack of higher education facilities among others revealed the much prevalent concern over there- school dropout! Also, how these complicate the situation further and pave way for child labour could be understood as many children have to engage in stone-cutting.

The Gyan manifests….

At Sarla Birla Gyan Jyoti Academy, Guwahati, 23 children literally voiced out their feelings about the chaos going on in the environment due to its mishandling by man in a Grassroots Comics Workshop conducted by Hima and Usha from 30th Oct to 1st Nov 2009, organised by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti. Children virtually jumped on one another in excitement to put forward their stance during the debate that was started to bring forth the different perspectives people have on ‘how responsible is man in the damage of nature’.

The output revealed a panoramic view of the issue as children developed comics on a gamut of different aspects of environment exploitation starting from stories on animals coming to revenge at their habitat destruction, 2020 situation, end of a love story of fishes due to Tsunami, skyscrapers coming to dust after earthquake and so on.

Same same but different!

From September 22nd to 24th 2009, two comics’ workshops running simultaneously brought a wave of creativity and passion among children of two different sections of the social construction. One workshop was conducted at the Delhi Public School, Guwahati by trainers Sushmita and Usha while the other was held at Surabala Bordoloi Auditorium, Chandrapur College, Chandrapur, Guwahati by trainers Amrith of World Comics India, and Hima of New Ways. Both the workshops were organised by Gandhi Smriti snd Darshan Samiti.

28 children children at Delhi Public School from classes 8-10, in their stories expressed their own adaptation of things they see. They made stories on how a child was neglected for her younger sister, how a child feels when he is compelled by parents to adjust in a new school, exams pressure, chaotic traffic situation, etc. On the other side, at the Chandrapur Workshop, also jointly supported by Manab Sewa Sangh, 50 children brought out their ingenuity in speaking up about the world as they see including subjects pertaining to their village like wastage of water, quarrels among the youth, alcoholism and so on.

Definitely, the concurrence of workshops at two diverse set-ups did bring out a balanced assortment of issues that concern the child today…

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Comics angle for little angels!

From 8th-10th August 09, students of Angels’ High School, Sualkuchi got a break from their mundane studies and competition through a Grassroots Comics workshop conducted by Hima Rani Baishya of New Ways and supported by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti. A group of 17 students representing classes 8th, 9th and 10th enthusiastically participated in this new activity that was meant, first, to introduce comics as an alternate media of communication and second, to bring out an overall development and an urge of motivation and creativity amongst the students who are otherwise busy burning their heads in their academic books all the time.

The young minds juggled with their thoughts and experiences to bring out some interesting comics on themes like child marriage, pollution, alcoholism, need for education, reckless driving, addiction and many more. The children expressed their wish to make more comics on other issues and share their learning and knowledge with their friends and family.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"STEP UP AGAINST RAGGING"....a step forward...

And we are back! Back, with the sequel of what we did in Gauhati University Campus on our drive against ragging. This time, it was taken to Cotton College on 18th September when it’s the Freshers’ Social season over here. We performed a street play expressing how young minds can get tortured with ragging and how it can get things just go haywire in the victim’s life after that incident! Comics in different formats, posters, booklets, and wallposters were distributed among the huge college crowd that gathered there and were pasted up on the trees, walls, pillars, doors and any place that we could find.
The students in the crowd were overwhelmed to see their contemporaries raising a question on the culture of the so-called “introduction” between the juniors and seniors that could take an ugly shape…

Though our small endeavour cannot promise a change- but it has certainly brought out different emotions among the people regarding ragging who have been through it or have seen it around them- atleast the thinking wheels have started churning in that direction now!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Anti Ragging Zindabad! Comics Power Zindabad!

New Ways carried out the first phase of Anti- Ragging Campaign “Step up against Ragging” in Gauhati University on 24th August 09, supported by World Comics India and Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti. The campaign started with a street play on ragging performed by the students of Department of Communication & Journalism. This brought in a lot of audience. The comics that were prepared on this theme in the Comics Workshop conducted in the Department from 11th-13th august 09 were then distributed among the people and pasted around on walls, trees etc. Comics as Wallposters, A4 Size posters and Booklets were used as Campaign materials. The Vice- Chancellor of Gauhati University and the Chairman of the Anti- Ragging Committee also graced the occasion. The people were excited and thrilled to see a new medium being used for spreading awareness on different aspects of the issue and commented that it is the humour that brought life to the campaign. The troop performed this at another place in the university, too, singing slogans of "Anti Ragging Zindabad! Comics Power Zindabad!along the way...
The Campaign will also be taken to different colleges of Guwahati to spread the word! Stay tuned!

Read full report

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Ways on CNN IBN on Independence Day!

On Independence Day, youth in Assam broke free from the traditional mould, speaking out against militancy and violence through a brand new medium - comics.
video tells more!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Ways to welcome the New Batch!

In a novel attempt, New Ways, decided to welcome the new batch of students in their department with a Grassroots Comics Workshop from 11th-13th August 09. This was meant, first, to serve as an ice-breaking activity between the seniors and the freshers and second, to endorse a cause- Anti Ragging. Therefore, 18 students from the new batch were trained by seniors Minakshi Gogoi, Sushmita Lahkar and Usha Dewani to make comics on various aspects of ragging in educational institutions and hostels.
The new batch of students, though apprehensive and unsure in the beginning picked up the concept of the medium quite well and came up with fantastic comics on issues like personal feelings of a victim of ragging, repercussions in his life, what provokes ragging, implementation of the Supreme Court of India guidelines against ragging and so on. These comics would be used to campaign against ragging in Gauhati University. So watch this space for more news on the same!

Read full report

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rising fun...Reducing risk!

New Ways organised a Grassroots Comics Workshop from 1st-3rd August 2009 at Gramya Vikash Mancha (GVM) Office campus in Barbari, in Nalbari District of Assam in association with GVM and supported by Action Aid India. The workshop was a part of GVM’s Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Through Schools Project to create awareness on DRR issues. The workshop was facilitated by trainers Sushmita Lahkar and Usha Dewani. The participants were children and youth from different schools and colleges of Nalbari. These twenty-seven enthusiastic participants made interesting comics on Disaster related issues like prevention, minimizing the risk, early warning system, impact on a child life and so on. The comics were taken to two schools where the participants showed their work to other children and teachers there to test how effective the medium practically was, in communicating the matter in concern.

The organizers took keen interest in the training and found the medium helpful for teaching purposes and would also like to convert and compile these comics into Teaching-Learning materials for younger children. The children are now planning to make more comics on other issues and teach their friends too.

Read full report