Lalita Suryawanshi, Dhamtari, Chattisgarh
Forest, Food Systems and Livelihoods
52 PARINDEY FELLOWSHIP
Lalita hails from a small village Dokal in the Dhamtari District of Chhattisgarh. She has been associated with ‘Chinhari: The Young India’ for the last five years. She has also been a researcher on the project 'Unlocking the Potential of Non-Timber Forest Produce' with Ambedkar University, Delhi. She has been associated with the topics of gender, youth, tribal affairs and environment. In the last five years, while working on these questions, she has tried to understand them more deeply.
She has written two articles in the recent past – ‘Chinhari: The Young Young India’ and ‘Charjhaniya Ghar’. It has not been easy for Lalita to write such articles and to reach out to the world. But she believes in struggle. She dreams that the girls of her area should get a chance to learn like her, to pursue self-exploration. To turn this thinking into reality, Lalita is ready to reach every village or city from her small village where people are keen on hearing the voices of girls.
As part of the 52 Parindey Fellowship, she is learning about the tribal community, forest, forest food and livelihood. She has grown up in close proximity to the forest and has a deep relationship with them. She sees herself going back and working for it. As a young person, she aspires to mobilise the local community youth and lead a community forest movement in her area. For this, she is looking to develop a deeper understanding of the problems from various lenses - systems, community, individual, and explore various solutions/interventions that people are undertaking.