An expert on tribal affairs, who has made award-winning films and written inspiring works directed towards the idea of Community Development, Shubhasish is often described as a social scientist notable for his philanthropic activities.
As the feathers of achievements continue to add to this hat, he says that he was,
"Born in Bengal, heart lies in Jharkhand, and stays in Maharashtra"
Jharkhand being the place where he was brought up and was mesmerised innumerable times by the hidden talents of the tribal communities.
Hailing from a humble family, he had the opportunity of understanding and connecting with the many cultures and communities within rural Jharkhand. Directing this understanding of the underprivileged community towards a greater cause, he decided to adopt a village in the Sonahatu block of Ranchi to bring holistic development, where majority of the population belongs to the rural and tribal communities.
A Heartwarming Gesture!
Shubhasish has made incomparable contributions toward transforming the village and taking the native arts and talents to greater heights. He has inculcated the idea of Prime Ministers' Atma Nirbhar Bharat to make the villagers self-reliant. Enhancing their abilities and bringing it on the mainstream track, the village's story is an inspiring transformation that urges every individual to do their bit in creating a socially responsible community.
A substantial amount of his salary has been going into this cause for over a decade now, and he believes it to be the most gratifying experience he has had. Regarding the same, he says,
"Let us co-create a culture of Individual Social Responsibility. The world needs all of us. Every individual has a significant role to play to make and create this world as a cheerful and happy world for a living."
Shubhasish is also a TEDx speaker and a recipient of the prestigious National Fellowship Award for Outstanding Artist in the Field of Literary Arts by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
A Village Of Many Talents
The artistic brilliance that rural villages encompass often remains in the shadows due to a multitude of factors. Right from his first day spent in the small village of Jharkhand, Shubhasish was able to note the numerous capacities of the villagers that deserved to come into the limelight.
He was able to conceptualize an effective method of promoting art forms as a change enabler. With his primary tool - a folk dance form called 'Chhau'- people are witnessing a positive change in the collective mindset of the village. With his sole support, "Chhau" is now being taught in 3 schools in Rural Jharkhand. Presently, 50 students between 3 to 10 years are performing the art form, and among them also includes the world's youngest Chhau dancer.
He has utilized the dance form as a medium to promote several Govt. schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Covid 19 awareness and prevention, and so on.
Moreover, he has also played a conscious part in these activities and has planted over 5000 plants around the region. It was under his conceptualization that the Ayurvedic Park in Pandadih village had evolved, and today it teaches many school children and villagers about the benefits of medicinal plants. With over 40 varieties of medicinal plants, the young chhau dancers and children of Pandadih village operate and maintain this park and in return they learn so much about planting, their caring pattern, weather suitability, propagation and so much more. He believes it to be a naïve way to promote environmental sustainability.
Shubhasish further added that,
"It is the collective effort of the community and this is how we celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav"
This is not simply the story of how a village was able to overcome their obstacles and enter the mainstream with their unique abilities, it is a narrative that shows even a drop could create an ocean. Efforts of one individual made it possible for a community to create an identity that now benefits them immensely.
Its up to the reader to imagine what a collective effort of individual social responsibility could do.
Also Read: Adivasi Youth Tell Engaging Stories About Their Community, Awarded Certificates Under Green Hub Central India Programme