I talk today to share my experiences, of more than 2 decades, of working with the adivasi communities in Betul, Harda and Khandwa districts of Madhya Pradesh. My experience of working as a full-time activist with Shramik Adivasi Sanghatana (SAS) has been enriching, enlightening and empowering. SAS was an outcome of our consistent engagements with the adivasi people for evolving strategies to assert their rights over the forests and its resources. The adivasi-State conflict over natural resources has a history of more than two centuries. This conflict with the State continues in the present times, despite the Constitutional protections to the adivasi communities. Shramik Adivasi Sanghatana's journey has been a long one, with strong determination and courage to take on State repression, to convincingly express their map of the world and their resolution to continue their struggle for justice.
About the speaker
Shamim Modi presently chairs the Centre for Law and Society under the School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance at TISS and is a governing board member for the Forum for Medical Ethics Society (FMES). She completed her M.Phil in Social Psychology and Ph.D on “Contemporary form of Slavery in Adivasi Agricultural Labour” from The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She has been a full- time socio-political activists for the last 24 years, before joining the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai in May 2009 as a full-time faculty.
She is one of the founder members of the Shramik Adivasi Sanghatana, a Tribal Rights Organisation engaged in empowering the Tribal and Dalit communities for seeking justice in cases of gross violation of their rights and member of the Working Group on "Empowerment of Scheduled Tribes" in 11th Five Year Plan of the Central Government.
She has been extensively engaged with conducting trainings and workshops with government administrative agencies such as IPS, IFS and IAS on the issue of Emotional Intelligence for effective, efficient and sensitive functioning. She has been working with the CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) on a long term basis to develop counselling skills of personnel and officials to deal with suicides and fratricides. She has also been engaged with training educators to make pedagogical interventions to enhance emotional competencies of the teachers/educators and developing their skills to inculcate empathy and compassion in students.