Article written by Eshwer Kale published in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) (Vol. 52, Issue No. 3 dated 21 Jan, 2017)
Shramadaan: A Labour of Hope
(English, VCD, 21 mins)
The concept of Shramdaan or contribution of labour, has been prevalent for ages. However, most of the times, we witness that Shramdaan is done to construct a temple or a small village utility. To convince the entire village to do shramdaan for a developmental project is an immense task, even if the development will be beneficial to the village, there are problems. These range from traditional notions about Shramdaan to the downright selfish yet relevant questions, “How will doing Shramdaan benefit me?”. Then there are issues ranging from politics to spiritual make up of people, landholding patterns to severity of drought, from government schemes which do not expect contribution, to schemes which expect people’s contribution. This film attempts to expose yet not analyse, (the analysis is for the viewer to do) the various issues arising in Shramdaan. It studies examples of various villages, the problems faced by them and solutions found by them in their unique situations. After all Shramdaan is the first step towards self help.