Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022
Outlook.com
Telangana & Andhra

Arcadian Voice: Finding Hidden And Neglected Stories In Telangana And Andhra Pradesh

Once a cartoonist and editor, Shyam Mohan has dedicated his life to a YouTube channel that brings forth issues and acheivements from tribal and Dalit villages of the twin southern states

Shyam Mohan shooting different vignettes for his YouTube channel

Kothagudem-based Adilaxmi matches her mechanic hus­b­and’s skills in repairing tubes and tyres of two/three/four whe­elers, trucks, earth movers and tippers. There’s Komera Jaazi, an Ayurvedic practitioner who cultivates sorghum on a one-acre field as manna meant for sparrows that are fast becoming extinct since cell phone towers cropped up in this corner of Andhra. Locals in Chintoor, East God­a­vari District, swear by a medicinal oil with secret ingredients that delays greying of hair.

These and other similar vignettes—of attempts at agrarian inventions or pure jugaad from And­hra Pradesh and Telangana’s hinterlands—are rak­ing up likes and comments after getting featu­red as vlogs on Rural Media, a YouTube channel by award-winning journalist Shyam Mohan. Bef­ore this, the 55-year-old Hyderabadi was a cart­o­o­nist whose illustrations featured in inter­n­ational journals Entwicklungspolitik and Wende­kreis, followed by stints at the edit desk of  two mainstr­e­am Telugu newspapers. But in 2009, he quit leg­acy media after multiple instan­ces of his tribal and rural stories getting “hacked mer­cilessly” and used as “fillers”, or even “killed” at the editing tab­le. “I had so many leads on excl­usive stories on problems experienced by farmers, Dalits and tribals, which were never given a proper response by the management.”

Vlogger’s day out Shyam Mohan shooting different vignettes for his YouTube channel
Vlogger’s day out Shyam Mohan shooting different vignettes for his YouTube channel
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