“My Income Hasn’t Changed In Ten Years, And We Have No Savings”

Whether it is putting off an urgent surgery or making do with 250 gm of fish for her family of four once a month, Lakhya Saikia, like most other poorly-paid ASHA workers, has to balance her domestic budget with extreme care

How A Trade Unionist Used Art To Power Her Unique Trade Union Journey

Culture is a powerful medium to collectivise and empower the working class, says the veteran union leader

‘I Am Furious With How State, Politicians Neglect The Poor And Marginalised’

In the bastis of east Mumbai, trade union leader Sangeeta Kamble is an ally and friend of the

In Their Fight For Space, Female Vendors Deal With Everyday Violence

Violent evictions from streets, abuse and brutality are routine for street vendors. A law to protect their rights suffers from flawed implementation

Aaram Ki Jagah: Tracing Leisure Spaces For Raghubir Nagar’s Women Vendors

In this, the third in the series ‘Placing Work, Mapping Places’, we explore the many reasons why Raghubir Nagar’s women hawkers associate leisure with the safety of places of worship

Love Should Be A Radical Tool Of Rebellion Against Caste

A trainer who works with marginalised youth groups believes that Dalit women in intercaste relationships do not get the respect they deserve

Godna: The Resistance Art Form Of Madhubani’s Dalit Dusadh Women

Godna, the fine art of tattoo painting, is practised by Dalit Dusadh women. Its approach, raw material, and themes are nothing like the more popular Mithila artwork

The Subtle Brutal Flavours of Casteism In My Family Kitchen

In an intercaste marriage, patriarchy and caste privilege decide food practices

Dalit History Month: Writing Our Own Histories

Dalit histories are diverse and it is important to record and remember everything we can until they become mainstream.

Vending Law Ineffective, Raghubir Nagar’s Pheriwalis Reimagine Safe Work Spaces

In this, the second in the series ‘Placing Work, Mapping Places’, we detail the struggles of Raghubir Nagar’s pheriwalis in dealing with street and State violence. We ask them to reimagine their workspaces as safer, gender-friendly and more productive.

Placing Work, Mapping Places — Stories of Raghubir Nagar’s women informal workers

In India’s cheapest second-hand clothes market, women have to reclaim public spaces to assert their right to livelihood constantly

Indian Insurers Are Denying Health Cover For Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities

Despite clear guidelines, insurance companies in India exclude those with intellectual and developmental disabilities from coverage

Why Elderly Women With Disabilities Are At Highest Risk of Abuse, Neglect

Forced to depend on their family for support and care because of social norms and ineffective government policies, elderly women with disabilities are highly vulnerable to […]

Why It Is Hard For Disabled Women, Queer Persons To Leave Abusive Partners

Reema*, 32, has been married for about five years but the man she thought would be her life partner has turned out to be a stranger […]

Trans Persons With Disabilities Lack Enabling Social Systems and Healthcare Support

India has laws and support systems for both transgender persons and people with disabilities, but none for those who are both identities – trans persons with […]

In Gujarat’s Poorest Tribal Pocket, A Women’s Agri Collective Shows The Way

Last November, 0ver 100 guests got to sample the tribal cuisine of the Bhil tribe during the annual three-day conference of the Institute of Rural Management […]

Desire, Sexuality And Choice: Disabled Indian Women And Queer Persons On Their Experiences

When they were 18, Nu, a non-binary person with physical and speech disabilities, recalls apologising often to their dates: “I’m sorry I walk with a crutch. […]

Women With Disabilities Have To Constantly Negotiate Between Isolation And Intrusion

Barely a month before her 12th grade board exams, Kavya Mukhija (now 23) had to take a week’s sick leave from school. She had contracted a […]

Tangled In Red Tape, The Disability ID Card Process Is Steeped With Gender Barriers

Khushi, 18, was elated to get admission to her dream Delhi University college to study English literature. Then, the teen, who was diagnosed with a visual […]

‘We Are Harassed, Beaten’: Adivasi Women Who Demand Forest Land Rights In Gujarat

“Ye pitai khayi hui auratein hain (These are the women who’ve got beaten up).” That is how we are introduced to Nandaben Nayak, Navliben Nayak and […]

Who Gets To Be A Mother? How Disabled Women Are Absent In The Idea of motherhood

A few weeks ago, Hera* and her toddler stared at the wall in awe. The light that gleamed through the broken glass pieces of the bangles […]

A Dalit women’s collective is fighting for the land it toils on, In Gujarat

Around 400 metres off the Gujarat state highway near Vautha village, along the snake-like curves of the Sabarmati river, lie nearly a hundred acres of land […]

‘How will you manage?’ How Disabled Women Are Forced Into Surgical Procedures

Nearly a decade ago, Smitha*, who lives with cerebral palsy,  underwent a surgery to remove fibroids from her uterus. The doctors, at the time, asked if […]

India’s Laws Fail To Uphold Abortion Rights Of Women With Disabilities

Arpita Roy Sengupta was 22 years old when her parents, much against her wishes, arranged her marriage in 2007 with Alok*, a deaf person like her. […]

“Young People Should Run The Panchayat Administration”: Story Of A Young Adivasi Woman Leader

For Laxmi Bhil (23), the Bhil Adivasi Sarpanch (President), Kabra Village Council, Bhilwara District, Rajasthan, contesting elections was both taxing and rewarding. A nursing student, Laxmi […]

Adivasi Women Bear The Brunt Of Slow Community Forest Rights Approvals In Gujarat

It has been years since  the women of Bilmarh, a  village on a small hillock some 25 km from Ahwa, the district headquarters of Dang district, […]

Women Leaders Help In Securing Women’s Land Rights in Gujarat

Geeta Ben Gamit, 42, is a busy woman. The Sarpanch ( village council head) of Bhatpur in Tapi district in South Gujarat was finishing signing papers […]

“I will stand by them, fight for their rights”: One Dalit Woman Panchayat Leader’s Fight For Social Justice

For Lokamma (30), a Dalit woman leader,  who won her seat in Hokarna Panchayat in Bidar district, in the Gram Panchayat elections in December 2020 in […]

Dalit Women Wait To Till Their Lands In Gujarat

“We were happy — we wouldn’t have to work in others’ fields anymore. We were going to be farmers,” says Daksha Ben Babu Bhai Parmar, a […]

In Their Fight For Light Rights, Gujarat’s Women Face Long Battles

Kanchan Kolipatel is a threat. It may not be apparent from her short build, soft voice or sorrowful brown eyes. For some members of her family though, […]

Women May Own Land In Gujarat But Men Control It

Shankuben Rabari insists she is 40 years old. She has grey hair, a deeply wrinkled face and arms dotted with the green tattoos distinctive to elderly […]

Women Own Forested Land In Gujarat But Not Its Wealth

Mangla Hira Ji Thakre (45) and her family are sprawled around the television for their post-dinner ritual of watching a hit soap opera. “Arey, this hero […]

How Organic Promotion Policies End Up Excluding Women Farmers In Gujarat

On May 14, 2021, while encouraging farmers to take up organic farming as he released the 8th instalment of the Pradhan Mantri- Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), […]

Dams Displaced And Changed Women’s Lives In Gujarat

If it were not for the pandemic, Raju Ben Vasava’s grandchildren would be at school. But, schools are shut, and Raju Ben, 55, is baby-sitting for […]

Women Yet To Cross Gender Barriers In India’s Agricultural Markets

Lassu Ben, 38, is an outspoken and resolute woman but even she sometimes hesitates to trade with the men at the local farm market. ‘Bahas mat […]

Underpaid ASHA Workers Tackle Covid and Vaccine Hesitancy In Kashmir

Khalida Akhter (36), an ASHA worker from Sheeri village in Baramulla district in North Kashmir, died of Covid-19  in May this year.  An Accredited Social Health Activist […]

ASHA Workers Criminalised For Fighting For Their Rights

India’s frontline women health workers, or ASHAs, play a critical role in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. But when they demanded better pay, protective gear and fixed […]

When Violence Is the Cost Of Doing Politics

When Mamta (26), was elected to Jayadara  Gram Panchayat ( lowest tier in India’s 3 tier local governance system)  in Sirohi district of Rajasthan in 2015, […]

ASHAs Within the ‘Kerala Model’ Lead Covid-19 Response, Get Little in Return

Our 16-state survey found that in Kerala, ASHAs, women health workers at the frontlines of India’s resistance to Covid-19, feel empowered and respected. Yet, their demands […]

Promised, Mostly Never Paid: Rs 1,000 Covid Wage To Million Health Workers

Minara Begum, 33, has reached breaking point. “If the government of Assam does not release my salary today, my kids will starve,” said the mother of […]

10 लाख स्वास्थ्य कर्मियों को 1000 रुपये की ‘कोविड सैलरी’: वादे ज्यादातर पूरे नहीं हुए

असम की रहने वालीं 33 साल की मीनारा बेगम चार बच्चों की मां हैं. उनका सबसे छोटा बेटा दो साल का है. वह रोते हुए कहती […]

Anger, Distress Among India’s Frontline Workers In Fight Against Covid-19

Without them, It would be impossible to track, test and monitor Covid-19 patients across India’s villages and cities. But over a million women health workers must […]

कोविड-19 के खिलाफ लड़ाई : गुस्सा और तनाव में भारत के फ्रंटलाइन वर्कर्स

रात के 9 बज रहे हैं. दिनभर की भाग-दौड़ के बाद अब लक्ष्मी सिंह खाने बैठी ही थीं कि सरपंच ने उन्हें बुला लिया.कई दिनों से […]

Krishnaveni’s Story And The Era Of Women Panchayat Presidents

P Krishnaveni remembers the night of 13 June, 2011, clear as day. Barely 200 m from her home of 15 years, in front of a local […]

The Triumph Of Sharmila Devi And Tamil Nadu’s Women Leaders

Sharmila Devi (39), the youngest dalit sarpanch of Thirumanvayal panchayat in southern Tamil Nadu’s Sivagangai district, has pulled off what none of her upper-caste, male predecessors […]

Meagre Funds, No Salary: How Tamil Nadu’s Women Leaders Still Succeed

What is it like to do a full-time job without a salary? Especially if you are a dalit or an adivasi woman and your daily earnings […]

Why Muthukanni, A Dalit, Had To Build Her Own Panchayat Office

It wasn’t personal ambition that drove K Muthukanni to stand for election as panchayat president from Madhavakurichi in Mannur block of southern Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district. […]

Tamil Nadu’s Women Leaders Live, Work In The Shadow Of Violence

Even by normal standards of violence in Tamil Nadu’s panchayat politics, the events of March 29, 2001, were troubling. Menaka, 35, the feisty dalit president of […]

Why 277,160 Women Leaders Remain Invisible To Tamil Nadu’s Political Parties

Salma (50), the deputy secretary of the women’s wing of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), is among the few women to have made the transition from rural […]

Why Ashubi Khan’s Pioneering Run Ends Today

Ashubi Khan, 51, is distraught. A decade of trailblazing work done by this tall, soft-spoken sarpanch (village chief) and her team of seven illiterate women–and three literate […]

Illiterate, Married at 11, Mother At 12: Panchayat President Now Changes Fates

Married against her wishes at 11 to her dead sister’s husband, Sidhamallamma Kanchappa gave birth to her first child at home when she was 12. It […]

In A Sylvan Valley, One Woman Reveals, Changes Lives Obscured By Beauty

Nestled in a sylvan valley in northwestern Tamil Nadu and surrounded by forests, the village council, or panchayat, of Sittilinghi struggled to bring to state attention […]

The Woman Who Brought Drinking Water, Toilets To A Lost Panchayat

Mazharkodi Dhanasekar has a radiant smile and is keen to talk about her achievements, which, as it emerges, are considerable: Building 650 toilets and making her […]