Community Correspondents

Anil Kumar Saroj

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

Safe Motherhood scheme not safegaurding the rights of pregnant women in Uttar Pradesh

 
/ November 11, 2014

Pregnant women pay bribes to avail free maternal health service in Uttar Pradesh The staff of a Community Health Centre of Mirjapur village in Uttar Pradesh, have been demanding cash from pregnant women before providing service of any kind. As a result, they are forced to buy medicine from outside...

MNREGA is more like free-labour in Mahadepur

 
/ September 17, 2014

VV-PACS Community Correspondent Anil Kumar reports from Mahadepur in Uttar Pradesh, checking the ground realities of one of the most advertised policy of recent times: the MNREGA act (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme). The report shows hundreds of labourers haven’t been paid for their work. You can ensure they...