On January 22nd and 23rd, 2020, a 2-day MICA Festival was organised by Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI)-led Abhivyakti Foundation, Samajik Parivartan Sansthan and Jago Foundation at Tisri in Giridih (Jharkhand, India). Mr. Babu Lal Marandi, Ex-Chief Minister of Jharkhand and sitting Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) inaugurated the MICA Festival. The list of honourable attendees included Mr. Deepak Tiwary (District Judge), Mr. Ashok Upadhyay (District Vice-President of Bhartiya Janta Party i.e. BJP), Mr. Rajkumar (District Panchayat Head), Mr. Sunil Prakash (Block Development Officer) and Mrs. Neelam Devi (Tisri Block Panchayat Head), together with RMI team: Mrs. Fanny Fremont (RMI Executive Director), Mr. Vijay Jain (RMI Country Head), Ajay Sharma (Manager, Community empowerment Program)
The region faces acute discrimination between girls and boys, where child marriage, education and dowry are critical issues. The MICA Festival, which is one of its own kind, gave the girls and marginalised children a platform to showcase their talents. The event witnessed over 1,000 children among whom participated in different sports activities, demonstrated science models and exhibited local tradition and culture. Mr. Babu Lal Marandi applauded the efforts and objectives of RMI-led partner organizations which are committed to bring a positive change in the region. Mrs. Fanny Fremont addressed the gathering about the existence of RMI and how RMI and its partners could provide benefits in terms of revived and sustainable mica activities, coming along with improved livelihood, better health and education facilities,… providing that all stakeholders join forces and work together towards a positive change. The festival ended on a cheerful note with prize distribution to the winners from different events.
Such an event happened for the first time in the region. All the guests, community members and children were extremely grateful to have the opportunity to raise mica-related issues at a larger scale, as well as showcase initiated positive changes. Adding to that, the 2-day Festival was largely covered by local newspapers, further reinforcing coverage and awareness.