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Dayamani Barla recognized for her work: gets Lutz Indigenous Rights Award



Dayamani Barla bihardays

Dayamani Barla bihardays

Ranchi: according to reports, Cultural Survival, an international NGO, recently recognized the work of the leader of several of such people’s movements in Jharkhand – tribal activist and journalist Dayamani Barla – awarding her the 2013 Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award for protecting the rights of tribals. For this award, Ms. Barla was chosen from among 60 international nominees.

Dayamani Barla, 48, a Munda adivasi has led people’s movements against displacement for over decade gained prominence when she travelled across villages in four districts in Jharkhand organizing villagers who were opposed to giving up their agricultural land for setting up of Arcelor Mittal’s steel plant over 11,000 acres of land. She led the Adivasi Moolwasi Astitva Raksha Manch in Gumla and Khunti citing Chotanagpur Tenancy Act which prohibits sale of tribal land to non-tribals.

Since 2010, Ms Barla led movement in Nagri village, 15 km from Ranchi, where farmers were protesting against the government’s acquisition of their farmland for building campuses of the Indian Institute of Management, the Indian Institute of Information Technology and the National University of Study & Research in Law. Between October and December 2012, Ms Barla was in jail in Ranchi for more than two months after the Jharkhand government accused her in a 2006-case and issued a property warrant against her for leading a demonstration demanding MGNREGS job cards and unemployment allowance for villagers in the Angada block in Ranchi district, and for leading a farmers’ protest in Nagri village in August that year.

Born in a farmer’s family in Arhara village in Khunti, Dayamani Barla worked as a domestic help in her childhood cleaning utensils in Ranchi to support her school education after her family were cheated of their land by a businessman from a nearby village. She worked as a typist to support her college education, founded the Jan Hak Patrika, and for some years reported on rural issues for Prabhat Khabar, a Hindi daily. She and her husband Nelson now run a tea-shop in Ranchi to support their public work. “Perhaps this international award will make the government realize how wrong it was to put Dayamani in jail,” said Nelson, her husband.

[Courtesy: The Hindu]

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