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

The Woes of Musahar Community

/ October 11, 2022

This video shows a Musahar community of Bhadohi District, Uttar Pradesh. They were settled next to a forest, away from the town area, because of their ‘untouchable’ status. Community Correspondent Anil Kumar here reported a heart wrenching story of a young boy picked up by a wolf from the nearby...

Impact Story

Citizens revive a major government hospital

/ September 8, 2022

With VV’s campaign Swasth Aaspatal the active citizens got the much needed support to mobilise locals to put more pressure on local administration for making the Hospital operational.

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Disdain and the fear of Displacement in Uttar Pradesh

/ May 3, 2022

The weaving community settled there in Mau District, Uttar Pradesh but economic prosperity was not easy to come by.

IMPACT: Musahar Children Now Receive Their Quota of Ration

/ February 4, 2022

Anganwadi workers discriminated against Musahar children and withheld their share.

Human Rights Day: Ten Bonded Labourers From Uttar Pradesh Rescued From Maharashtra

/ December 10, 2021

Due to the lockdown, Musahars from Bhadohi lost their livelihood and became easy targets to human traffickers.

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.