In India, informal workers make up 90% of the workforce. They are often forced out of the formal sector due to heavy licensing and regulation policies by the Indian government. Atlas Network partner Centre for Civil Society hosts an annual documentary festival called Jeevika to capture the livelihood challenges faced by the rural and urban poor in Asia. Jeevika brings to light policies and regulations that curb the livelihood of the poor. Over the years, the festival has provided a unique platform to filmmakers and brought awareness to the difficulties for many of Asia’s small businesspeople, such as street hawkers, cycle rickshaw pullers, and small shop owners.
Jeevika enjoys support from major Bollywood celebrities and philanthropists including Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das. Cash prizes are awarded to winners in three categories: feature length, short film, and student documentary. To see videos of past submissions and guidelines to enter this year’s contest, visit http://jeevika.org/.