May Day / Mazdoor Divas 2011:
Every year on 1st May Jan Jagaran Shakti Sangathan celebrates the May Day by organising a mazdoor mela. This is day when members of the trade union and other rural workers come together and discuss range of issues in a relaxed environment. It is also the time when workers from different panchayts of Araria and katihar come together and bond. Last year the mela was organised at Tarabari Haat. This year it was decided to have it in Araria town because of better connectivity. The venue of the meal was the beautiful ground of Yadav College, Araria.
This year the major attraction of the meal was the well laid out stalls and performance of cultural teams from IPTA and Abhiyan, Patna. One could buy tools such as “kudaal”, “belcha”, “khurpi” & “tokri” at reasonable rates. Then there were stalls selling “lungis”, “banyan”, “saris”, T-shirts, small artificial jewellery items, toys for children and not to forget hot tea and khichdi. On our request Pratham- an NGO working in the field of education, had also put up a stall for books. They also evaluated the reading and writing skills of children of workers who had come for the mela.
The local administration had also put up a health stall. They did health check up and distributed free medicine for various ailments.
The mela started at 12 noon and continued till late night when it had to be stopped because of thunderstorm. The mela started with different songs depicting the status of working class, its difficulties and call to come together. Members of the union and various workers from different panchayat talked on host of issues. We were also lucky to have with us several people from outside Araria and Katihar like Mr. Sandeep Pandey (NAPM) who said that only grass root effort can root out corruption and it has to be driven from bottom. Mr. Kishori Das of PUCL was also present and sang few revolutionary songs which were much appreciated by all. In the afternoon theatre activists of the local unit of IPTA and Abhiyan, Patna enthralled the audience with songs and natak carrying important social and political messages. A large number of people from nearby mohallas also attended the mela with much excitement. Several small vendors of food items also joined us and did some crisp selling.
In the evening we had planed to screen good movies but were cut short during the screening of the very first movie “mirch masala” by a thunderstorm. Many of our members from different panchayat stayed on till early morning of 2nd May.