Mazdoor Mela :
The Mazdoor Mela this year was held in Araria town, Yadav College
grounds. The mela was attended by over thousand saathis, from various blocks of Araria and also Katihar district.
Other than our local saathis we had the privilege of having with us saathis from NAPM UP Sandeep Pandey and Raju ji. Sandeep bhai talked about the need to unite and said that corruption has to be fought from the grassroots. Raju ji talked about the situation in UP and expressed his solidarity with the workers of Bihar.
Through the day songs, slogans, speeches filled the pandal and outlying the pandal were fair price shops of clothes and workers instruments. There was a stall put up by the Pratham team to talk about children’s education and there were some colourful and appealing books for sale at this counter.
The biggest success of the day were performances by Araria IPTA (Indian People’s Theatre Association) and Abhiyan. This was followed by the screening of mirch masala, we were all under the pandal, the film had just picked up momentum and was being taken very well by the audience but as is typical of this time of the year, a monsoon storm hit the pandal.The heavy shower disrupted the gathering, we made one more valiant effort when the rain subsided but this time the storm came with a big fury, blew
away the pandals and ensured we all ran for refuge, salvaging whatever daris we could from getting wet. It was a terribly wet night for those who had come from faraway places but we were all ok. The screening that could not happen was supported by the Aman Trust, Delhi.
Though the basic content of the mela was the same as last year the change in venue changed the participation, last year the mela having been organized in Gram Panchayat Sharanpur had a lot of people from that area and people kept coming even in the evening, this time we saw the participation was more varied, as people from even far away blocks came but the evening flow wasn’t much.