By Anadya Singh
Social media with it’s unparalleled reach, saw a coming of age during this pandemic. While our physical reality imposed strict adherence to physical distancing norms, the world of social media allowed people to come together, participate and organize in favour of those less fortunate.
Dakshin too tapped into its social media presence across platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Throughout the lockdown, Dakshin’s social media pages served as an online repository for verified information covering government orders, civil society movements and on ground-developments in fisheries. Dakshin also took to social media advocacy for securing rights of migrant fishworkers stranded without basic amenities in different parts of the country. Even today, our social media networks continue to flag instances of strandings and crises, which are recorded and worked upon by Dakshin’s Lockdown Response team.
To generate effective content, our team engaged with various mediums – from illustrations and popular articles to photographs and videos. Dakshin’s video series on “Fisherwomen In Lockdown” was appreciated widely and led to an Instagram mediated ‘Live’ discussing the Women in India’s Marine Fisheries. Individual staff members too have kept the conversation going by participating in webinars organised by international research networks (such as Too Big To Ignore), giving online talks for the general public (eg. Café Oikos) and leveraged opportunities to talk about our pre-lockdown work to shed light on the impact of the lockdown on fishworkers (eg. Kalinga Foundation). This steady stream of content expanded our physical reach and our fundraising work was recognized by members of the larger conservation community and as well as by celebrities and influencers such as such as actress Amala Akkineni, writer and journalist Raghu Karnad and former cricketer Krishnamachari Srikkanth. We also collaborated with the popular alternative Indian rock band Thaikuddam Bridge to raise awareness about our crowdfunding campaign.
We are very grateful to our countless committed online friends and supporters who rose to the occasion to help India’s fishworkers during this unprecedented crisis. Social media, through this period of uncertainty, emerged as an effective medium to aid our efforts, provide relevant information to our supporters and a wider audience, and forged a stronger bond and sense of community.
We would like to thank Manini Bansal for the images above.