Adivasi Women from Ujala Samooh collective have been contesting elections to challenge the bastions of power and patriarchy in Rajasthan. Photo credit: Drishti Agarwal

Gender & Politics

Adivasi Women Claim Power In Local Elections

Badami Bai (32), had a problem on her hands, just a week before the Panchayat (India’s directly elected village councils) elections in India’s western state of Rajasthan in January 2020. The Bhil Adivasi contestant for the office of the Sarpanch (village council head) of Bhagoron ka Khera panchayat in  Banswara district suddenly found two new contestants running for office against her.“This was deliberately done by former Sarpanch Kamla Devi’s husband Chetanpuri, to undercut my vote share. He paid them Rs. 50,000  each to contest”, alleged a dejected Badami Bai.Badami Bai is no ordinary woman.  As a member of Ujala Samooh–

Ujala Samooh collective women leaders from the tribal Meena and Bhil communities in Southern Rajasthan. Formed in 2011, the tribal women of Ujala Samooh have been organising tribal women in Rajasthan to claim their rights and entitlements. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they are working hard to bust misinformation and make relevant information around the pandemic and government welfare measures available to the citizens.

Adivasi Rights

Adivasi Women Collectives Busting Misinformation

Every morning, Kamla Bai ( 30) makes a round of the hamlets in the Saklal Panchayat in Udaipur district of Rajasthan. Her mission is to bust misinformation and rumours about the coronavirus pandemic among the people of her Panchayat.“ There are all kinds of rumours about coronavirus in the villages. One rumour is that people with symptoms will be taken by the hospital staff and shot in the head to stop the spread of the virus”, she says. Another rumour doing the rounds, especially among men, is that the disease can be cured by drinking Mahua (traditional home-made liquor), which