Inspirational filmmaking to raise women’s voice and agency in the construction of assets for climate resilience in India

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BY JORDAN KYLE, KATRINA KOSEC, SUDHA NARAYANAN, AND KALYANI RAGHUNATHAN
OPEN ACCESS | CC-BY-4.0

Tusu lives in the village of Saradha in Mayurbhanj district of the eastern coastal state of Odisha in India, and recently constructed a farm pond on her land through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). This important personal achievement might have gone mostly unnoticed—but through an inspirational video Tusu helped our team make, her story has reached over 6,500 rural Odisha women who now know what women like them can achieve through raising their voices to access key government programs.

The MGNREGA is a national rural public works program that guarantees all rural households 100 days of paid unskilled manual employment at a specified minimum wage. Participants are listed on household job cards; as a result, they are often referred to as “job card holders.” Workers build a range of durable assets on both private and public land—ponds, canals, water harvesting structures, plantations, roads and so on—that are intended to support rural livelihoods and strengthen the natural resource base, thereby building resilience against climate change.

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