Byash Ojah is a form of performing art prevalent in Assam. It is performed as a symbolic interpretation during the time of mourning. But this art is slowly dying due to lack of interest among the people. Byash Ojah is an important performing art and people should preserve the culture.
The aim of the project is to create awareness among the youth about Byash Ojah culture. We hope that the efforts will increase awareness among people to practice the culture. Under the project, a documentary has been developed to create awareness. Another interesting insight is that women are barred from performing this art. The Ojha Pali performers shared that since women menstruate and menstruation is linked to impurity, they cannot perform this art. Besides this a lots of energy is required to perform this art and women are considered weak and hence barred from performing it.
One photo-story campaign on Women Performers of Byash Ojah was conducted to sensitize people on such stereotypes on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2018.
Tribal women are responsible for ensuring food and nutrition for the family. They are vital to the farming system. They are the custodian of the knowledge and resources. Society often overlooks the contribution of women in farming. FST recognises the role of women in farming. Often women farmers do not get required opportunities to develop their skills and share their experiences.
FST has partnered with Integrated Rural Management Association (IRMA) to work with the women farmers to develop their farming skills. The project is implemented in 5 villages in Kangpokpi district in Manipur. The objective is to spread knowledge about the Kitchen to Field concept. The women have been oriented to use items like vegetables, left over food to prepare compost. They have been trained on backyard farming, methods of seeds preservation and usages of organic manure. The project is also promoting the usages of different traditional seed varieties.
Bhaskar Nagar is a notified slum under ward number 41 in Guwahati. The slum has approximately 1,200 families and consists of migrants from different districts of Assam. The families are engaged in informal works such as domestic workers, daily wage earners, petty shopkeepers. School drop out rate among the girls in the locality is an issue and few girls have attained college level education. Early marriage of the girls is a common practice in the area, as well as domestic violence and addiction to hazardous substances.
FST has decided to work in the locality keeping the girls as strategic target group to intervene on the other development issues of the families in future. Project KOUSAL is focusing on building the capacities of young adolescent girls on life skills and sports. The objective is to develop self-confidence, self-esteem and leadership qualities amongst these girls. Currently 74 girls from the community have enrolled and participating in the project.
The life-skills modules include topics such as financial literacy, sexual reproductive health, effective communication, leadership and goal setting.
As a part of FST’s youth development program, Dharamjeet Kumar is implementing a sanitation campaign in Kulamua village at Majuli district in Assam. Kulamua is a flood-affected village where cleanliness among the families is a concern. Almost the entire village practices open defecation where there is just one toilet in the village. Families are not taking the advantage of the benefits of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, under Government of India. The government scheme to support construction of toilets has largely remained unused.
This project has been raising the awareness about sanitation, hygiene and the need of toilets. He is taking the help of the children to bring about behavioral change among the communities. Children and few youths from the village have been conducting street plays and various campaigns on hygiene.