About Me
Hi, I am Minket Lepcha
I am an independent researcher from Darjeeling conducting interactive experiential sessions across India, Nepal, and Bangladesh to connect children and youth with river. I use the medium of films, photographs in articles to represent narratives around water and river. A Young Green Filmmaker Awardee (2015) for directing ‘Voices of Teesta’ in Woodpecker’s International Film Festival, I have represented and facilitated myself in forums like River Dialogue, Women and Water Consultation Programme in Assam, story therapy sessions with Riverine Communities affected by flood in Assam and represented River Teesta in International Conference on Women with River’s Congress in Nepal. I was one of the mentors from upstream river communities to engage with youth in River Camp held in Bangladesh. I received Third Pole-Oxfam Shared Water Media Grants as part of the Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA) project to work with Women's relationship with Mahakali River and was a fellow researcher for Kathmandu Valley Urban History Project by Nepal Picture Library where I traced ancient water resources around World Heritage Site of Boudha Stupa in Kathmandu Valley. A virtual exhibition was successfully curated Visualizing Water Heritage through storytelling in North East India project funded by British Council Small Heritage Grants with Living Water Museum wherein 30 adolescent girls of North East documented river folklore during Covid19.
Ferry to go home
: Mishing is a largest river community of Assam dispersed around various tributaries of River Brahmaputra. They also live in one of the world's largest river island called Majuli. As a riverine tribe, Mising indicates blend of mi ̳man‘ and asi ̳water‘. The Mising consider themselves to be the descendent of the Sun and Moon. On all auspicious occasions, the Sun is referred to Ane Do:nyi- ̳Mother Sun‘ and the Moon who they call Abu Po:lo ̳Father Moon‘ are worshiped. People of Assam referred to Mishing as Miri. According to E. A. Gait, the word Miri means middle man in Assamese words. They acted as a channel of communication between the people of Assam and Abors of Arunachal Pradesh. Ferries and boats are the only lifeline which connects people to the mainland. Women are rare travellers in the ferry as men dominates the passenger ratio. Women in the boat are seen either with a new born baby, visiting her family or to check ailments to nearby hospitals in mainland. With half the male population outside the island for work or better education, these women spends most of the time weaving, tending farms, cooking or battling flood during monsoon season. Climate related disasters with women in rural areas often go unrecorded while they are directly related to accessing natural resources like water and forest for their daily consumption. Looking at the vastness of the River Brahmaputra, a Mishing woman is seen looking at the river from the ferry as though the river is the only companion and her gold earring, the only wealth. The narratives around women and their relationship with river often goes through many layers.
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