Voice Of Chakma Community: Jummo ICON | ayeyouth.com

"My community always lacks opportunities in various fields of professions, so this a small social media platform I want to create to hear from the various artist and talents present in my community" - Subra Chakma, Founder of Jummo ICON.

Voice Of Chakma Community: Jummo ICON | ayeyouth.com
Subra Chakma, Founder of Jummo ICON | Credit: instagram.com/jummo_icon

Chakma community forms one of the largest ethnic groups of the eastern part of India.

However, even after residing in India for decades, the people of the community are still treated as refugees in India due to various 'historical and political reasons'. This has led to continued protest demanding Citizenship for the community.

In spite of all the chaos, the community has tried its best to promote local cultural practices and folklore.

Subra Chakma is one of the many individuals from the community who has come up to promote local talents by taking the advantage of digitally savvy generation. She is the founder of Jummo ICON, an e-magazine mainly focused on promoting the art, culture, and music of the local talents from the community.

We, at AyeYouth, had the opportunity to connect with her for an interview. This is how the interview went:

1. A little introduction to who you are?  

  • I am Subra Chakma from Tripura, I completed my Masters from Tata Institute of Social Science and presently working hard to sustain myself economically.

2. When did you conceptualize the idea of "Jummo ICON" magazine?

  • The idea for this magazine has always been there ever since I started my Master studies specialized in Dalit and Tribal Studies but I could never really bring it to live until the pandemic hit the country hard and the lockdown started. The main objective for starting this magazine is that in the context that in my community, education defines everything and youth talents in the field of art, music, etc are either forced to be suppressed or left unrecognized so I want this magazine to be a small factor of encouragement for those people and give them a platform to tell your their journey towards achieving those dreams.

3) What is your definition of the word 'Icon'?

  • Icon! Even I sometimes ask myself what can be the definition of this word but as the work of the magazine continues the meaning of this word started to build its own definition. So, as per my views, I would say that icon is you, me, and every other individual who has their own unique dreams. While some failed to bring out their icon personally and on the other hand some are trying, struggling, working hard to make it to the people they really wish to be despite the many immersing obstacles on the way.

4) How did you come up with the name of the magazine?

  • Jummo usually refers to my community people, the word in my language means the hill people. So to keep it unique and original, I kept the name Jummo Icon.

5) Would you call yourself an entrepreneur? Why?

  • I don't think I can call myself an entrepreneur because the magazine is not for business purposes. Currently, every individual can get free access to the magazine in all social media platforms but maybe later if the magazine gets a good response I might think of starting a physical print magazine with many more activities than maybe I would call myself an entrepreneur when it would actually help bring income source from this magazine.

6) What makes your magazine unique?

  • What makes it unique! Well, this magazine is the first I could say in my community that actually builds a formal platform for this artist to express their thoughts, stories, struggles to build and conquer their own dreams and be the real version of themselves. At the same time, be the source that recognizes their unique talents and be the encouraging factor while highlighting these individuals to their own community and as well as others.

7) What was your main mission when you started this magazine?

  • The reason then and now is the same, the mission is to give a formal platform to the uniquely talented individuals for my community which my community failed to recognize. And show that not everyone is meant to be in the education field and there are other fields too to build a profession that is equally important.

“Also the music and art are actually one of the key factors that are keeping other culture and community alive”

8) Do you have any previous experiences in the field?

  • No, I don't but being someone who failed to bring that Icon personality alive and suppressed those dreams to fit into the society and family crises, I am trying my best to be an expert in this field so that I could contribute a little that I could to those individuals and give what I think I didn’t have in me- the courage and strength to be the version that I really dreamed to be.

9) There must be certain expectations that you've had when you started with the idea of this magazine. How much difference did your expectations and reality have?

  • Well, those expectations I had fortunately are the same in reality - it's the positive love and support for the magazine for the people. In fact, my own parents and family are quite supportive and proud of starting something new. I do have plans to build it big in the future hopefully that goes the same.

10) Do you work all alone or you have a helping hand?

  •  Well, it wouldn't be possible to start the magazine without helping hands. I am very fortunate to have friends who hold the same views about this magazine. Despite their busy lives, they still find ways to contribute their roles in the magazine. In the future, I hope this magazine could build a platform for them as well.

11) How do you promote your magazine?

  • Using social media as the magazine is in e-magazine form and in the era we are living in now digital role plays an important part to build connections.

12) How do you connect with your clients?

  • I connect them mostly through social media and sometimes I get calls from individuals and they introduce me to other clients.

13) Have you ever been turned down by a client?

  • It would be a lie if I say that I didn’t get turned down, I got turned down by few, There are few whom I connect with but never got any replies but that's also a part of growing for the magazine.

14) How can we get access to your magazine?

15) Do you have plans of turning it into physical prints?

  • Yes, I do have a plan for turning it into physical prints and even maybe translating it to the common languages where the views are more but it's all the future plans and I'm hoping that I can fulfill it.

16) What is your next plan?

  • I plan to bring in more helping hands and more activities into the magazine like virtual activities. Planning and work are going on and hopefully, you will see it soon.

17) What is the message that you would like to give to today's youth?

  • The actual reality of the world is harsh; it can either break you hard or build you to be a stronger version of yourself. Living through this experience I would say it's better to conquer yourself than to win thousands of other hearts cos it's never enough for others. So it’s better to live up to yourself than others. It would be a lie if I say other's words wouldn’t hurt you, it will hurt you for sure because we are part of the society and we can’t really escape from that but you know what, take those critics to encourage you to be who you actually want to be not what others wants you to be.

Northeastern India is known for its varied art and culture. However, the lack of exposure to mainstream media has highlighted Northeastern India as one of the most neglected parts of India. We, at AyeYouth, congratulate Subra for her exceptional work towards promoting her community.

#jummoicon #chakmacommunity #ayeyouth #youmatter

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