‘They Are My Sisters’: Diary of a Land Rights Activist in Rural India—The New Humanitarian

21 Sep 2020 | Essays & Commentaries, Portfolio | 0 comments

Kamala Damor, or Sister Kamala, works with women and girls in rural Gujarat to help them access their right to property and inheritance. She tells her story to Chhavi Sachdev.

“On Mondays, I leave home at 9 a.m. so I can be in Meghraj town by 10, when the land awareness and legal literacy center where I work, Swa Bhoomi Kendra, opens.

“I call it a center, but it’s a makeshift arrangement for now. I sit with mycolleague, Sister Amti, at a large table in the corridor outside a local government official’s room in the panchayat (town council) compound. Amti has been doing this for a year, while I’ve been at it for five. It’s inconvenient and very noisy working in the corridor, but a new building is under construction and next year, we’ll have a nice office with privacy.

“As a paralegal worker, I do field work and education outreach three days a week, and I spend the other two doing administrative work, counseling and advocacy. When I’m at the center, I assist women who come to us with questions and problems relating to exercising their land rights.”

Read the feature.


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