One Billion Rising: We Will Protect Our Forest

A few years ago, the forests neighboring Jamuha Village in Hazaribag District, Jharkhand looked like they would not survive till the next generation. Reckless cutting had left little of the once dense tree cover. For the past three years a group of local women have taken it upon themselves to save these forests from further destruction. To make sure the forests last, they have vowed to cut only as much as is necessary. Their livelihoods still depend on the forest to a great extent. Most of the men have left the village in search for better employment. Some send money, others don't. The women support their families by selling the plates they make out of the Kendua leaves that grow in the forest. All over India, the Forest Department has set up systems to make the village communities living near forests more involved in their conservation. These operate through Joint Forest Management Committees at the village level and the Forest Development Authority at the Divisional level. In many cases the strong involvement of women has been lauded by officials. In Jamuha however, the efforts of the women's group seems to have gone unnoticed. Repeated requests from the group to get re-enforcement from forest officials while they work to protect forests has fallen on deaf ears. For now, they are armed with just their passion to protect their forest while they chase away people from neighbouring villages who try to smuggle out fire wood. The job is at times a risky one, but they are persistent. "We know for sure that one day our efforts will bear fruit," says one of the women in the group. Call To Action: Manju Kisku asks you to call Mr. Shiv Prasad Singh, Forest Department Officer on +91 9324051369 to ensure that the women get the necessary support so that they can continue their work. One Billion Rising: One Billion Rising is an international campaign, which calls on women and men all over the world to rise and demand an end to violence against women. We at Video Volunteers are joining the campaign. Over the next few days we bring you stories from across India. Stories of women who have stood up and demanded their rights, of women who have helped others get what is rightfully theirs, of women who refuse to be silent in the face of an attack. Come join us in signing the pledge: Please also share Chanchal Paswan’s appeal and sign the petition on demanding strong legal action against the perpetrators of the acid attack on her here:  

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