Community Correspondents

Anil Kumar Saroj

Anil Kumar Saroj is a social worker and Community Correspondent who reports on issues related to employment, corruption, caste, and women’s rights.

A spirit of entrepreneurship and a commitment to justice and equality are deeply embedded within Anil. His lower caste status caused him and his family to experience discrimination and unemployment. The hostility drove his family to move to the slums of Mumbai, so at a young age, Anil experienced the daily struggles of slum survival. The 1993 Mumbai riots again forced Anil’s family to flee, and they reluctantly returned to their village. But this time, Anil returned with energy to respond to issues of caste and inequality. Anil began his social change work by informing Dalits, landless people, women and minority groups about their rights as citizens. He joined People for Peace Service Society that supports the mobilisation of marginalised citizens to implement solutions to problems they face. His deep commitment to supporting his community members is reflected in his job as an independent social worker within the community.

Anil believes that his community cannot develop without the advancement of women. I the late 1990s, he worked to create economic opportunities for women, such as opening a space for women workers in the agarbatti market. This initiative was done through the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana government programme that aimed to provide employment to the unemployed poor. Originally, Anil was hopeful that the programme would create positive change, but Anil found that it was filled with corruption. Anil turned to journalism as a means to expose corrupt practices and to advocate for women’s rights and employment opportunities.

Anil has faced many challenges in his journalism. When he was making a documentary on the plight of the Dalit Musahar (rat-eater) community, he received threats for exposing the inhumane conditions that they face in their daily struggles to survive. Nevertheless, he continued his work on the project and he now plans to make a documentary about the exploitation of carpet weavers in his village. He continues to use the platform India Unheard, as a space to expose exploitation, injustice, and corruption embedded within Indian society.  

Videos from Anil

Impact Story

Destroyed by Fire, VV Correspondent Helps Dalit Man Resurrect His Life

/ October 30, 2020

Anil Kumar Saroj fought a long bureaucratic battle to ensure Ramlal can restart his life with dignity.

Impact Story

Video Volunteers Correspondent Facilitates Job Cards for Uttar Pradesh MNREGA Workers

/ June 10, 2020

VV correspondent Anil Kumar intervened to facilitate MNREGA job cards for villagers in Uttar Pradesh

Impact Story

Persistent Community efforts compel Rozgarsevak to issue MNREGA Job cards to Dalits

/ May 15, 2020

A Not so easy success story for the community wherein they had to submit 3 applications for MNREGA Job card which should officially be issued at just one application.

No Cards

Leprosy Continues to be a Reason for Discrimination in Uttar Pradesh

/ April 10, 2019

While India claimed to be leprosy-free in 2005, a family from Bhawanpur Chauthar village, Uttar Pradesh is still facing discrimination due to leprosy.

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Swachh Bharat Mission fails 500 families in Uttar Pradesh

/ May 22, 2017

Are these 500 families in Uttar Pradesh village, an exception or is it part of a trend indicating improper implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission? “Advertisements promoting the Swachh Bharat Mission are all over the television. The government is shouting from rooftops that toilets will be built. But it’s all...

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Home is Where We Must Start to Dismantle Patriarchy

/ March 8, 2017

This International Women’s Day, let’s radically transform our private spheres into equal spaces This women’s day are you feeling smothered by pink messages extolling your ‘feminine’ virtues? Are you besieged by offers to buy household and beauty products at great discounts? In the last hundred years, since the USSR, in...

Impact Story

Mid-day Meal scheme sham exposed and solved

/ February 10, 2017

The 210 students of Mahadevpur Primary School, Uttar Pradesh, were hungry for more than a month as they hadn’t received their mid-day meal. Through meetings held by Community Correspondant Anil, it came to light that the issue remains unresolved due to personal conflict between the village officials in charge. A...

Our lives are threatened because we are asking for food. It is our right, right?

/ January 30, 2017

“You’re asking for rights? Do you know what caste you belong to?,” the Sarpanch (Village Head) reminded Samaru Vanvashi, a Dalit resident of Bisapur village in Uttar Pradesh. Samaru had approached the Sarpanch because he had not been paid his NREGA salary since 2014 and had not received his rationed...