On Day 3, a dialogue on transformative women leadership was organized at Tribal Culture Center, Sonari where 84 women from different parts of the state participated.
Discussion took place amongst women from tribes such as Ho, Bhumij, Santhali, Oraon, Asur, Bedia, Munda who were engaged with each other.
The program was inaugurated with a tree plantation followed by a Santhali prayer. The TSF team then introduced the theme of this year and highlighted the importance of the day. The women, dressed in traditional attire, were given a platform to share their experience and knowledge. They also spoke about their traditions, culture and earnings from various sources.
The discussion was conducted in two sessions. In the first session, women were divided in groups of 5 and they spoke about their journey. In the second session, these women were divided in groups of 10 and the discussion revolved around tribal art and culture, women in governance, conservation of environment, Social evil, education, livelihood, health and well-being, rights and entitlement.
These presentations were put up for interaction on an open platform at the World Café. The programme concluded with the essence of hope, togetherness, and opportunities.
Some prominent speakers present at the dialogue included Joba Murmu (Sahitya Academy Award Winner), Akli Tudu (Women Exemplary Award from CII) and Malti Singh Sardar (Bhanumati Neelkanth Award).
Case study of Akli Tudu (Mahli Tribe, Jharkhand)
Maoist insurgents have always held immense sway in her area. When Akli Tudu, along with other women, in the community formed a Self-Help Group to upgrade and expand agricultural activities with advanced methods, the Maoists arrived at their doorsteps and threatened to kill them if they continued.
They moved on undeterred to create a rainwater harvesting infrastructure and have since joined hands with local NGOs to work with 3000 families on animal husbandry and other livelihoods. The initiative serves as an inspiration for other women and men in the community.
In the words of Akli Tudu“Ours is a traditional farming community, under constant threat by Maoists to discourage livelihoods. Our men had sowed the crops but were afraid to harvest; however, we decided to move ahead.
That year, we harvested a good Kharif crop. Our success motivated us. Not that the threats stopped; I received a note on my door too. Water was a problem, and we were supported by Tata Steel Foundation to build 53 ponds progressively. The police approached us to replicate our work model in the neighboring village which faced a similar problem which we did despite resistance. The threats continue, but have waned over time. We fought guns with peace and power of enterprise.”