Woman talking on phone
PHOTO • Sweta Daga

“For the first time in my life, I felt strong,” says Sukalo Gond, about bringing together her Adivasi community to demand their land and forest rights in Majhouli village in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh.

Before making calls for her work with the All India Union of Forest Working People, going off for meetings, court appearances (see ‘I knew I was going to jail that day…’), morchas and other tireless tasks as an activist, Sukalo is up at 5 a.m. every day, attending to her cows, cooking and cleaning.

Here, she is cutting okra (or ‘ladies fingers’), with her phone close by because she is expecting a call from a union member. A neighbour’s child looks on.

(The author met Sukalo before she was re-arrested on June 8, 2018, and jailed again.)

Sweta Daga

Sweta Daga is a Bangalore-based writer and photographer. She is working on several multi-media projects, including fellowships with the People's Archive of Rural India, and the Centre for Science and Environment.

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