Manbhum Ananda and Ashram Nityananda Trust

ORGANIZATION : Manbhum Ananda and Ashram Nityananda Trust
CONTACT PERSON: Suvadip Chakraborty

Manbhum Ananda Ashram Nityananda Trust (MANT) is a non-profit that has been working among tribal communities, of West Bengal since 1960. Its work is focused on empowering marginalised communities through Basic Education, Health Improvement and Livelihood Development. It is currently working in 12 districts of the state.

MANT is driven by the belief that with accurate information, people can make better choices on everything from preparing for a natural disaster to practicing healthy behaviour. For this purpose, it has adopted a participatory approach for creating relevant, believable messages which are appropriate to the target audience, and which present a social message for change.

At present it is producing and disseminating relevant social and behavioural change communication through four community media channels: community radio, community videos, mobile radio and a print media weekly publication in Santhali language.

With UNICEF help MANT has set up a a Community Radio Station, the first ever of its kind in West Bengal with a target population of 1 lakh within a radius of 15 km in the Block of Puncha, Purulia known for its abiding poverty and backwardness. The project was launched in October, 2010 and a studio with all equipment has been set up.

MANT has been using a participatory approach to develop videos – dramas, documentaries and drama-documentaries – to highlight tribal issues and showcase their way of life, problems and possible solutions thereto and best practices and success stories of Adivasi development. The tribal communities decide the content of the videos, stories to be told and problems or issues to be addressed to represent and empower their own communities by their own people.

The organisation has also launched ‘Pranta Kotha’ Mobile Radio as a wireless communication system, based on Mobile IVR (Interactive Voice Response) mechanism and Jangalnama, a weekly publication published in Santhali, the mother tongue of Santhal tribe.

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