Rural Lands, Rich Words

It was just hours before the issue was being sent to print that I wrote the editor’s note — causing many in the design and production teams to endure anxiety attacks! Those of you who understand the operational aspects of publishing would know that it is a borderline scary scenario. I couldn’t have done differently though.

When we first discussed that we’ll bring out the July 2021 edition as a spotlight issue, the main thought was on magnifying the efforts of a group of individuals who united for an initiative called Voices of Rural India, or VoRI, as it is popularly known.

Several virtual handshakes and digital letters later, things were in place. This, everyone agreed, would be a nice one! And it was.

The pages weren’t merely carriers of words from the rural parts of India; they were gleaming recollections of memories of the people who inhabit those lands. There’s no denying that COVID-19 has been a dreadful reality. People in the rural regions have suffered beyond comprehension but their tenacity makes them triumph over adversity, eventually.

To assist them in regaining their way of life, the team of VoRI embarked on a not-for-profit mission to create a tangential opportunity of livelihood for the rural dwellers. They set up a storytelling platform where people from local communities can publish narratives which are unique to their respective lands. These are enchanting tales from the deepest corners of the country which will echo in the hearts of everyone who reads them.

The members of VoRI run training modules to prime the local storytellers and the ones that make the cut are subsequently published on (do give them a visit). There are several ways that you can support this initiative — become a volunteer, partner with them in some meaningful capacity, or if you can’t be physically present but still want to support their noble work, contribute financially.

I’ve heard many, many beautiful stories of lands afar but there are countless more that I am yet to discover. Well, I discovered a few while putting together the July 2021 issue of Outlook Traveller.

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