Connecting local responses around the world
Every CLCP event from the biggest Knowledge Fair to the weekly SALT visit or even a opportunity to talk to a person in the community is to me a learning experience, and a positive one at that too.
During the recent Knowledge Fair, Shyamalai the Bangladeshi lady wanted to ask me a question. However, I could not answer her during the session. So, I sought her and with Moushmi as a translator started talking to her. She stated that she did not have much to ask me, and that I had replied her question in the subsequent sessions. So, I asked her about herself, and her dreams as a Bangladeshi in India.
She stated that she wanted to join all the Bangladeshis in India who were without legal papers like her, and make one big association. I asked her how she was going to do that as there were about 10 to 12 million illegal Bangladeshis in India. I also asked her how much time it would take, and she replied ten years.. I was taken aback when she detailed the method of snowballing as a technique though she did not know it was called snowballing.
Also, I had only a couple of months ago visited a Federation of sex worker CBOs in Andhra Pradesh called NARI-SAKSHAM. I was indeed surprised to see Shyamalai describe this structure exactly as if she had seen it. She stated that she was the leader of a small CBO of Bangladeshis, and she knew a few others who like herself headed other CBOs, and who in turn would know others. Thus by asking each one of them, she would be able to do a listing!
We often underestimate the power of communities, as well as their innate knowledge.
With best regards,