Amidst the hue and cry about climate change, there are communities who live far from the madding crowd. In close proximity to forests, these people judiciously use nature’s wealth, replenishing more than they take from nature. These communities are none other than the tribal people, the most exploited communities in India today. With limited access to education, healthcare, and government entitlements, restrictions on farming rights, and gender inequality, tribal communities have borne the brunt of an ignorant system.

Recognising the dire situations of tribals in the Abu Road district of Rajasthan, Richa and Ashok, our heroes, started Jan Chetna in 1988 to uplift women and tribal communities. 

Helping people help themselves”, says Richa while defining the ideology of Jan Chetna. Hence, Jan Chetna works towards raising the awareness of the tribal communities, motivating them to advocate for their rights themselves and create enduring change from within.

Thanks to Richa and Ashok, the tribal communities of Abu Road today have resilient women leaders who are speaking up against evils like child marriage and are sensitising other women about their rights. There are community-based organisations in which local leaders confidently come forward and present their case before the administration.

Certainly, there is a long way to go, but our heroes’ efforts have created a significant impact by instilling a sense of consciousness among tribal communities, which will lead the way forward. 

About Our Hero

Richa Audichya, the Director of Jan Chetna Sansthan, is a dedicated advocate for tribal human rights since 1991, with an impressive career focused on the welfare of indigenous communities, particularly the concerns of Adivasi women. She holds a BSc. degree from Rajasthan Agriculture University and an M.HSc in Education Extension from MS University, Vadodara. Through her role as Director of Jan Chetna Sansthan, Richa has spearheaded numerous projects in collaboration with organisations like Swiss Aid, CRY, CARE, CASA, CAPART, and ACTION Aid. Her work encompasses various critical issues, including education, nutrition, health, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, and the Panchayat Extension To Scheduled Areas Act.

Dr. Ashok, the Chief Executive of Jan Chetna Sansthan, primarily focuses on Livelihood and Microfinance. He began his journey as a community mobiliser at Aastha Sansthan in Rajasthan. He has worked on various issues such as the empowerment of tribals, the formulation and strengthening of people’s institutions and organisations in Abu Road, supported by SWISS Aid. Furthermore, he has worked on bonded labour, the Tendu Patta struggle for wage increment, and has contributed to the building of community-based organisations. Dr. Ashok has also extensively worked on forest rights, primary education, health and nutrition, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005. He has also been involved in the National Rural Mission and the Elected Women Representatives Empowerment Programme. He is an active member of various campaigns on MGNREGA, tribal welfare rights, and closely collaborates with the Soochana Evam Rozgaar Abhiyaan.” 


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