Extreme heat during the days and the fear of harassment at night – homeless women face a relentless battle for survival and sleep


  • Leadership
  • “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 […]


  • Politics
  • 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, […]


  • Leadership
  • 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 […]


  • Leadership
  • 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 […]


  • Leadership
  • 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 […]


  • Leadership
  • 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. […]


  • Leadership
  • 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 […]


  • Leadership
  • 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 […]


  • Leadership
  • 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 […]


  • Leadership
  • 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 […]


  • Leadership
  • 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 […]


  • Leadership
  • 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 […]