by Avinash Kumar, Oxfam’s For All campaign team, India
The event is over but the campaign has just begun…
As the stress and excitement of the day wears off I am slipping into a leisurely stupor! But there are still some slightly frenzied recollections of the day floating through my head. Not surprisingly they don’t come in any particular order…..
My early morning dash to receive the movie star Rahul Bose at the airport (only to discover that the flight was late, as usual!). Rahul Bose the film star putting penetrating questions to Aditi, our media lead, over the phone. Emma, one of our campaigners, hurrying around looking for good photo ops and interviews in the limited rooms at the venue. All of our ambassadors articulately demanding better education and health from the government. Ben, our campaigns manager emphasizing to the media that whilst celebrities are important in campaigning, real grass roots ambassadors like Dr Archana and the young teacher Afsana are equally important stars and heroes of the campaign. The magician using his magic to keep 200 odd children quiet (and happy!) while the press conference was on. The clamour of the children and stars signing the campaign pledge on the back of an elephant (who was busy gobbling leafy plants). The last minute confusion over cars, buses and their drivers ….and finally, the exhausted bye byes!!!
The gains of the day are clear. We got great international press coverage for these crucial issues, important leads and contacts for the future of the campaign, and an idea how to avoid some goof-ups at the next big campaigning moment for India in November!
And the big challenge for us now? The need for more campaigning in other countries and continents, so that together we can up the pressure and make governments listen.
As I said, the event is over but the campaign has just begun