Geeta Devi overcame every barrier to ensure forest rights for her community

Geeta Devi overcame every barrier to ensure forest rights for her community

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Geeta Devi overcame every barrier to ensure forest rights for her community. Read how. http://bit.ly/1HKPK27

Geeta Devi is weaving a better future for her family and community in #Jharkhand. Read more. http://bit.ly/1HKPK27

As a member of Turi caste, in the Mahadalit community, Geeta Devi did not have it easy. The Turi community faces discrimination everywhere -- in schools, temples, and workplaces.

But that did not deter Geeta Devi from standing up for the rights of her community. Geeta is educated till class VII but she is the secretary of Forest Right Committee and Treasurer in Bajrang Mahila Mandal.

A resident of Dhargaon village, Domchanch block, Koderma district, Jharkhand, Geeta Devi lives with her husband, two daughters and two sons.

She weaves baskets made of bamboos to support her family.

People from her community faced unemployment and lacked access to cultivable land. Basic needs like clean drinking water and education are still not available. The community was also struggling for its forest rights.

Geeta Devi raised awareness in her community about the provisions of the Forest Rights Act 2006 and helped her community prepare and file 42 Individual Forest Rights (IFR) applications under Forest Rights Act 2006.

She trained other women in making baskets from bamboo and other goods from forest products to get economically empowered. 

“We need to unite and demand out rights under government schemes to give education and health facility to our children”, said Geeta Devi.

She linked the self help groups with the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) scheme and made credit available  to them to start basket making. 

So far, her efforts have gotten 20 families involved in basket making and sustained their livelihood.

 

Written by: Oxfam India staff

Photo credit: Oxfam India

 


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