Paromita is a powerful advocate for some of India’s poorest and most marginalized citizens: the tribal people of the Chandrapur and Gadchiroli Districts of the state of Maharastra. Paromita employs local collective action in combination with her legal experience to protect these marginalized communities and help them attain justice.
Paromita’s organization Shramik Elgar, the Workers Push, is a broad membership grassroots organization. Through the diversity of its membership, Shramik Elgar is able to address the numerous issues its members face while ensuring it does not become estranged from the people it serves. Paromita is also especially cognizant of gender balance maintaining 50 percent of members to be women. Shramik Elgar targets areas where 20 percent of the population are tribal people. Within these areas Paromita responds to relevant areas of distress such as land disputes, unfair labor contracts, or abusive police practices. Building a coalition through Shramik Elgar of local tribes, activists and community members, Paromita is both solving immediate problems and growing her organization to create a far reaching and sustainable movement. In addition to her grassroots work, Paromita develops local leaders by training volunteers to deal with the variety of abuses that members face regularly.
Through Shramik Elgar and Paromita’s effective community organizing, Paromita has been able to restore land to Maharastra’s most marginalized citizens. These efforts facilitated a proper government survey of the land so that the tribes will have land entitlements for posterity. Beyond these cases, she has advocated on behalf of countless abuse cases including deaths due to police brutality and farmers salaries, successfully winning appeals in the High Court. Paromita has also been instrumental in a local women-led campaign for a liquor prohibition in Chandrapur in efforts to reduce domestic violence.
Today, Shramik Elgar mobilizes over 10,000 rural workers and tribal people highlighting Paromita’s deep dedication to community based solutions. While she has spent the past 15 years campaigning with rural communities she hopes her movement can shift from solely campaigning to institutionalized equality for rural villagers and tribal people across India.
This profile update was made in April 2014. Read on of the election profile.