Recently I have been using Youtube videos as a way to educate and motivate the migrants in regards to health topics such as hand washing, nutrition and immunization. The use of media is interesting because in a way it has been a paradox between a hurdle and a tool.
First to start off with context, the migrants in Paro, Punjab live on government land. The insecurity of their future looms down at them as a government building is being constructed meters away. The construction is taking place on land which they lived on until they were forced to move.
Their lives are an enigma in many ways, a condition of acceptance of their status is inherited. Their children play and spend time on the construction site where there camp once stood. Although it’s not just the children who spend time here, the adults from the camp could be found here wasting time as well. As the construction takes place, in a small brick room adjacent to the construction there is a television hooked up to a satellite.
The children and some of the adults could be found here. This small room with a small television proved to be a problem at times, in particular when we wanted to work with the children. Parting them from the television became a bit of a chore.
This in turn became another small hurdle in our work with the migrants, along with communication gaps.
As time went on it was suggested to me that some people in Naddi had found videos in Hindi, which they use. With some simple research I managed to find videos which were able to convey ideas in concepts that I had long wanted to get across but couldn’t due to language gaps. When utilized the videos proved to be quite a successful tool to overcome hurdles. Here enters the paradox of how media and technology can be both a hindrance and a tool. I hope we can find other ways of using technology and media in creative, educational ways, which allows as certain degree of independence and control.
John Vargas, Canada
Health Project Manager, Punjab