People That Make Jan Chetna
Richa has been working for human rights and rights of the Tribal for the last 36 years and has a comprehensive understanding of the Adivasi community, especially on issues and concerns revolving around Adivasi women. She has completed her B.Sc. from Rajasthan Agriculture University and M.HSc. (Education Extension) from MS University, Vadodara. She has been, along with a team at Jan Chetna, working for empowerment of the Tribals, strengthening their institutions and movements, onChetna governance, women empowerment, education, nutrition, health, ecology, and made extensive efforts for effective implementation of laws such as the MGNREGA and PESA act. She has made efforts for empowerment of elected women representatives within the local governance, and has played a key role in the formation of self-help groups, of microfinance and livelihood initiatives, tribal self-rule initiatives, and more. She has actively contributed in formation and strengthening of the collective Bhakhar Bhitrot Adivasi Vikas Manch, where tribal women leaders have been mobilized to raise awareness, claim their rights and establish self-rule under PESA act. She is also an active leader and part of the Suchna Evam Rozgar Adhikar (SR) Abhiyan, MAKAAM, NCPRI, Jan Jal Jangal Zameen Andolan, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights, the Right to Food Campaign, Aman Samuday, Campaign Against Female Foeticide, Campaign for Survival and Dignity, and others.
Ashok’s role primarily focuses on livelihoods and microfinance. He started his journey as a community mobiliser at Astha Sansthan, Udaipur. He has worked on various issues such as, empowerment of tribals, formation and strengthening of people’s institutions and organizations, has worked on the cause of bonded labor, in the Tendu Patta struggle for wage increment, and contributed to building of community-based organizations. He has also extensively worked on forest rights, primary education, health & nutrition, and MGNREGA. He has also worked on the National Rural Mission and the elected women representatives’ empowerment programme. He is a member of various campaigns on MGNREGA, tribal welfare and rights, and is also a part of the Suchna Evam Rozgaar Adhikar Abhiyan, Rajasthan.
Ranchhod has been with Jan Chetna Sansthan for the last 25 years. His focus has been on raising community awareness regarding tribal self-governance and empowering village assemblies under the PESA legislation. He has been actively involved in Forests, Land and People's Movements - working alongside the community to campaign for the Forest Rights Act, fostering connections at local, state, and national levels after the law's implementation, and continuous efforts towards on-ground implementation. He has also been a part of the advocacy campaign for employment guarantee law alongside the community, and participated in various social audits in the struggle for transparency and accountability. Further, he has been a part of efforts to assess social programs including MGNREGA, ration distribution, pensions, Anganwadi, mid-day meals, etc. in Rajasthan and other states as well. He has also collaborated with diverse campaigns such as Shamlat Abhiyan, MAKAAM, SR Abhiyan, Right to Food Campaign, Right to Live with Dignity Campaign, and various others. Currently he is working as a coordinator in the Self Governance to Good Governance Program.
Chandrakanta’s wish to strengthen her financial situation and establish her identity led her to face challenges from her family and society, as it was considered inappropriate for women of her community to work outside their homes. Chandrakanta began her work from home, providing tuition to children, and slowly started paving her way forward, and in 2005, she joined hands with Jan Chetna. She observed that women in tribal villages used to work during the day and return home in the evening, making it difficult to establish contact with them. To overcome this, she changed her approach, both by adapting her work style and by engaging with them in night meetings. Determined to bring a change, Chandrakanta initiated a practice of savings among women in villages, advocated for RTI, and participated in campaigns for NREGA, right to food, accountability, etc. She engaged in village-to-village walks and conducted night meetings despite challenges from family and society. She gained recognition as a master trainer for PESA law, social audits, and FRA in Sirohi district. She worked on empowerment of elected women representatives, of adolescent girls, on women's leadership programs, and various campaigns. With cooperation from organizations like BBAVM and Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan, she tackled issues related to forest land, FRA, health, education, women's empowerment, climate change, women's leadership, and tribal culture. Currently, with the support of IIFL Foundation, she is coordinating the Sakhiyon Ki Baadi program; running over a 100 learning centers in Abu Road.
Rupesh has been associated with Jan Chetna since 2017, and has been actively contributing to programmes for social inclusion and extending government schemes to differently-abled individuals in Abu Road and Pindwara blocks. From 2017 to 2019, he worked as the Block Coordinator to ensure implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act and provide access to their rights. He served as the Cluster Head for 20 Sakhiyon Ki Baadi centers, catering to dropout girls and those who never attended a school, between 2020 to February. 2023. His primary focus was to facilitate learning for these girls and subsequently facilitate their enrollment in regular schools. Rupesh has also been engaged as the cluster resource person for Chaaragah (pastureland) development in 23 villages of Pindwara block, collaborating with FES and Jan Chetna Sansthan. He actively participates in the Suchna Evam Rozgar Adhikar (SR) Abhiyan, Rajasthan, and in various other campaigns, including the Shamlat Abhiyan, Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch (MAKAAM), SR Abhiyan, Right to Food campaign, and Dignity in Living campaign. Currently, Rupesh is supporting data compilation and online activities for other ongoing programs within the organization. His skillful writing abilities, developed through workshops like "Khabar Lahariya," "The Bestian," and "The Jay Hind Project," enable him to effectively narrate the stories of strong-willed and resilient male leaders and fighters who work for the community's well-being. He is also skilled in creating impactful small videos through these workshops, incorporating effective writing techniques and methods.
Lakhma, a resident of Chandela village has been actively involved with Jan Chetna since 2004. His journey began by engaging in the organization's initiatives, and since then, he has consistently contributed to the efforts and issues championed by the organization. He has participated in various movements, including the RTI and NREGA campaigns, right to work campaign, and the people’s movement for forest land rights. He has worked towards better implementation of MGNREGA in different districts of Rajasthan, ensuring its effective execution and optimal utilization. He played a pivotal role in promoting social awareness and understanding related to social issues in various states by conducting social audits of government schemes. Lakhma Ram actively served as an active member of the Bhakhar Bhitrot Adivasi Vikas Manch, where he worked for the resolution of indigenous issues. He consistently advocated for the implementation of forest rights and the realization of the Forest Rights Act. His strong presence and popularity within the community led him to become the Sarpanch of his Gram Panchayat, as well as a member of the Panchayat Samiti. He has also been instrumental in various roles within the organization. Currently, Lakhma Ram continues his dedicated efforts towards resolving indigenous issues and advocating for better implementation of forest rights and PESA act.