Ashima Vishnoi, India

Riya Simon May 18, 2020

“I used to observe the working class situations within the premise of the sugar mill. I always wondered about the social inequalities.”

Born and brought up in a small town Dhampur, in Uttar Pradesh, Aashima was raised in a lower middle class family. Her father was a mill worker and her mother was a vocational teacher in the same town. She did her schooling from a traditional school and went to Delhi University for her graduation. “It was a big cultural difference which I felt, also the teachers in the college were not supportive which led me to great depression.”

After a point she lost interest in college and always felt very demotivated to see such large disparities in the world. She started teaching some children in the vicinity and started to understand how education and its institutions also lead to certain oppression and kill the creativity of the children. To understand more about this I went to do my masters in education in Azim Premji University.

“I felt there was a lot of focus on theoretical frameworks without being on the ground. This demotivated me again but then I came across the theater of the oppressed and realized my own oppression and tried working on it.” She explored social movements as a voice to structural oppression, worked in Lok biradari Prakalp Hemalkasa in a tribal school. Since 2015 She is  associated with different social movements and grassroots.

organisations. She works with communities with theater of the oppressed and tries to create spaces for difficult dialogues.

“I feel that a lot of programs and campaigns have been launched in past years, while there is a great need of continuous dialog engagement with the masses. Also the fragments within the social movements and civil society and lack of solidarity is a big hindrance for the vision of social inclusion to move ahead. I feel there is a dire need for dialogues on ground. Jai Jagat brings this dialogue on ground.”

“I am a ‘theater of the oppressed’ practitioner, and I realise that such dialogues are important to build an oppression and exploitation  free world. “