The Rural India Project (TRIP) is a rural storytelling initiative by a group of students from the School of Communication, Manipal University.
Storytellers of The Rural India Project scour for and take up threads of stories originating in the countryside. In taking them up, whether they are local issues, dying and fading practices and crafts, or just stories of humane interest, our storytellers try to explore and discover facets of rural India. The stories are then edited and published on our online platforms.
From the picturesque countryside of Attapadi in Kerala to the unruly coal fields of Jharia in Jharkhand, our storytellers have documented the lives of everyday people living in the wildly varying spectrum that rural India is. As much as possible, the stories are narrated from the perspective of the people living in rural areas.
The Rural India Project also organises events with the prime motive of narrating our unique stories archived from India’s villages.
With news bureaus comfortably nestled in the heart of our cities, stories from the rural areas of India are often overlooked - something we believe is undemocratic. In tandem with the rapidly transforming story that the India of this millennium is, the need for an evolving rural storytelling system has never been greater.
As a team of student volunteers, TRIP is not inhibited by concerns of profit. In telling our stories we practise but just one bias: a bias to mitigate what has been lost with the lack of reportage and documentation that plagues the rural news beat. In presenting them onto you, we see no boundaries and no limitations of form or media.
The Rural India Project also tells stories to preserve ideas. In its role as an archivist, the media makes it easier to delve into the past and garner lessons for the future. But true lessons are only learnt from a history that has been chronicled dispassionately and comprehensively, a history that is not bound by geography or economic relevance, a history that talks of both the rural and the urban. It is The Rural India Project’s intention to help keep the balance, and to tell stories of indigenous culture, practices and tradition.
The digital space brings with itself its share of problems like shorter attention spans, couch activism and enhanced compassion fatigue. But it also provides us with the power to reach audiences wide and far, and the ability to go beyond restrictions of language, culture and physical distance. The Rural India Project intends to work quietly at making rural stories heard, and break the bubble from the inside.