“Jiska koi nahi sunta, uska hai Teras Chaura”
Teras Chaura, one of the most significant achievements during last three years, was a unique event organized by the young leadership of SHG federation of bonded laborers. An annual conference led to a decision that an open meeting will be held on 13th dark lunar day of every month The Chauras are thus, organized at different locations every month and skilling community members to access digital portals of different government departments to voice their grievances against illegal loans, debt-bondage, child labour, forced migration and trafficking in their families and accessing their legal as well as civil rights.
Teras Chaura consists of thirteen departments which are led by thirteen emerging community leaders working as advocates, paralegals, SMC member, forest volunteer, farm supervisor, mining supervisors and village health workers among the community. During the last six months the leadership of Teras Chauras has been able to work with 12 government departments i.e. labour, health, development, revenue, law, police, education, forest, agriculture, social welfare banks and village panchayats. Teras Chaura, as an informal mode of communication is extremely useful for free flow of information at grassroots. It not only encourages participation but also leads toinitiation of action research exercises.
- The Story behind Teras Chaura -
Teras - thirteenth day which comes twice a month, one in Krishnapaksh and second in Shuklapaksh, as per Hindu calendar, is an important day in the life of Stone breakers and is celebrated as a day of freedom. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm amongst the stone breaker laborers. It is a day when they worship stone which symbolizes lord Shiva. This is a day when all people get an off from their work and also get payment for their work. The villagers celebrate one-day of freedom in a month, on this day they visit nearby fairs, eat and roam around and meet each other, looks for their prospective brides and vice-versa. In the light of such backdrop, Teras Chaura empowers the community members to share their concerns with each other.