Chhipa is a biradari or a community of Muslims of Gujarat. I don’t have an estimate of how many people identify themselves as Chhipa but what impress me most is that a section of them are very concerned about community issues and have set up organizations to help people of their biradari.
Chhipa Samast Jamaat Committee was established in 1938 and continue to function, which shows that tradition of helping community is very strong and continues to this day. Just look at the activities that Chhippa Jamaat is involved in – from night coaching for school students to group marriages to running a health clinic.
Chhipas get their name for their work of chhapa or dyeing that they used to do in Gujarat. Community has since moved on to other businesses and jobs but the they continue to identify themselves as Chhipa.
The tradition of social work and connection to the community is thankfully being passed on to the new generation as well. Look at this movie, Starting With Three In Chhipawad, made by and for Chhipas to raise awareness about some of the social problems that need constant reminding and some new issues like encouraging education for girls.
The movie is an amateur attempt but the story line and some of the acting is pretty good and this attempt of trying to tell their own story and engaging the community should be encouraged.