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Co-op Mic is our initiative to provide a platform for experts, entrepreneurs and friends of the co-operative movement to help share their ideas, experience and knowledge on strategically relevant themes. The format of Co-op Mic involves an hour long talk on topical issues affecting co-operatives and collectives and includes a brief Q&A session. The talk is streamed live on Facebook.com/ICAAsiaandPacific/and a short video is prepared for wider dissemination. We have had two guests till now including Dr. Gopi Ghosh and Ms. Ishita Chaudhary.

 

Co-op Mic 3.0 took place in Jesus and Mary College, New Delhi on October 30th, where our guest was the young and dynamic film-maker Mr. Aditya Kripalani. Originally trained in script-writing, he went onto study at the Film and Television Institute of India. He took the plunge as a Director with a film titled ‘Tikli and Laxmi Bomb’, based on his own best-selling third novel of the same name. He is also the producer, writer and co-music director of this film along with his wife, Shweta.

 

                                                                                                                                   Aditya Kripalani speaking at co-op mic 3.0

 

The program began with Mr. Balu Iyer, Regional Director, giving a succinct presentation on how co-operatives and the youth are dynamically linked, and how in  countries like Korea, Japan, Singapore; university co-ops are already thriving. These university co-ops are also helping meet some of the SDGs. This was followed by a talk by Aditya Kripalani where he spoke about the inspiration behind writing the book ‘Tikli and Laxmi bomb’, which has now been converted into a film. The book tells us a fictional story about two sex workers in Mumbai, India who come together and form a co-operative. This co-operative is then joined by other sex workers wherein it develops into a system guaranteeing physical protection and financial safety to these women who work in such dangerous conditions.   Aditya emphasized that the main reason behind him writing the book was to answer the omnipresent question, “If these women do all the work, then why do they have no control over their earnings, working conditions and such?” He also wanted to explore the possibility of women fighting back the oppressive control of men in this line of work. The best solution to him was the creation of a collective, a co-operative, that ensures this for them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 This was followed by a Q&A where Mr. Iyer and Aditya took questions from the young audience at the college. They were asked questions on ideas for sustainable university co-operatives, the reasons why women stay in the sex work trade despite the risks, the need for more film makers to take up such bold topics for films, among other issues.