Video | “This land is mine. I will get it back: The struggle of women from the Rana Tharu community – Uttarakhand

Many Adivasis have lost their land in Uttarakhand. But Kamla Devi of Pindari village and Mangola Singh of Nandpur are resisting usury, fraud and gender prejudice to get back their farmland and secure their rights | Read the full story on PARI: People’s Archive of Rural India >>

From the earth that Kamla Devi toils on, waves of nostalgia and pain rise to meet her. Her family once owned 18 acres of land. “I employed labourers, now I am one of them,” she says, quietly.

Kamla is from the Tharu community, a Scheduled Tribe that lives in the largest numbers in Udham Singh Nagar, a fertile district on the outer foothills of the Himalayas. Her people are counted among Uttarakhand’s earliest settlers and among its most disadvantaged.

From the earth that Kamla Devi toils on, waves of nostalgia and pain rise to meet her. Her family once owned 18 acres of land. “I employed labourers, now I am one of them,” she says, quietly. […]

Rana spent the better part of last decade with the Bhoomi Adhikar Manch (BAM), a network of village-level organisations working on tribal rights in around 40 villages of Uttarakhand. In 2009, two years after its inception, BAM pushed the state government to implement the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, which protects the traditional rights of forest dwelling communities. The Manch’s methods – creating awareness and lobbying– have achieved some success in the fight for tribal land rights.

Source: ‘This land is mine. I will get it back’ by Puja Awasthi, PARI: People’s Archive of Rural India, 4 October 2018
Date Visited: 16 September 2022

Update by Sanchita Kadam (, 30 Nov 2021): “The community land rights claims filed by forest dwelling Tharu Adivasi community in Dudhwa, Lakhimpur Kheri have been rejected at the district level, even as the community members insist that the law does not authorise the Committee to do so.” | Read the full story >>

Studio Alaya provides Design & Marketing linkages to the Cooperative of Artisans from the tribal community of Rana Tharus from the Terai region of Uttarakhand. Traditionally the Rana Tharus made baskets out of seasonal grasses such as Kansi, Seenk, Motha, Pateri etc. Today in a joint initiative of Studio Alaya & the Uttarakhand Bamboo & Fiber Development Board, the product range has been diversified to include bags, cushions, trays etc. made for contemporary markets. […]

Craft sector being largely unorganized and informal is hampered with constraints such as erratic supply of raw material, high costs of transportation, lack of skills, inadequate infrastructure and poor technical, financial and business management literacy. […]

Studio Alaya also focuses on improving access to markets for these producers by promoting among them an understanding on market trends, creation and empowerment of value chains, better management and organization to make craft and skill based production more market focused.

Source: STUDIO ALAYA – Producers – our partners
Address :
Date Visited: Thu Sep 01 2011 00:53:02 GMT+0200 (CEST)

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

Up-to-date reports by Indian journalists and commentators

To search Indian periodicals, magazines, web portals and other sources safely, click here. To find an Indian PhD thesis on a particular tribal community, region and related issues, click here >>

Search tips

Combine the name of any particular state, language or region with that of any tribal (Adivasi) community.

Add keywords of special interest (health, nutrition endangered language, illegal mining, sacred grove); learn about the rights of Scheduled Tribes such as the “Forest Rights Act” (FRA); and the United Nations “Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”, “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, “women’s rights”, or “children’s right to education”.

Specify any other issue or news item you want to learn more about (biodiversity, bonded labour and human trafficking, climate change, ecology, economic development, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, global warming, Himalayan tribe, hunter-gatherers in a particular region or state, prevention of rural poverty, water access).

For official figures include “scheduled tribe ST” along with a union state or region: e.g. “Chhattisgarh ST community”, “Scheduled tribe Tamil Nadu census”, “ST Kerala census”, “Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group Jharkhand”, “PVTG Rajasthan”, “Adivasi ST Kerala”, “Adibasi ST West Bengal” etc.

In case the Google Custom Search window is not displayed here try the following: (1) toggle between “Reader” and regular viewing; (2) in your browser’s Security settings select “Enable JavaScript” | More tips >>

Learn more

Adivaani | Adivani website

Crafts and visual arts | Masks

Community facilities

Cultural centres

Daricha | Daricha Foundation website | YouTube channel

Ethnographic Museums

Museum collections – general

Museum collections – India

Publishers & distributors: Books and journals on Indian tribal culture

Revival of traditions

Tribal identity