Work area: Jhalawar district, Rajasthan

Devendra founded Hum Kisan Sangathan in 1992 in response to the widespread exploitation of small and marginal farmers. They were exposed to multiple vagaries and received almost no profit for their produce due to existing land relations. Over the years the sangathan has been primarily involved in struggles for effective governance against corruption and irregularities in government schemes as well as in raising a voice against communalism and regressive cultural practices through the effective use of theatre and folk songs.

Along with his partner Sudhi, he has worked intensively with the people of the region on various issues including the rights of farmers and labourers, education, livelihood generation and perspective building amongst youth. They also run a community school in the area called ‘Manthan Shikshan Kendra’. Manthan started in 2001 with a vision to develop a space for children to get quality education, and at the same time get introduced to a new way of thinking and living.

Handloom cooperative (Adarsh Hathkargha) was later initiated by Hum Kisan. The idea behind the cooperative was to engage the members of the sangathan in economic activity and to create alternate livelihood options. Although the vision for a handloom cooperative came in 1992, it could be registered only in 2004. After the initial set-up, the cooperative grew and brought within its fold agricultural workers, and farmers, especially women and younger children from their families who were looking to supplement household incomes and attain financial independence.

With his love for never-ending love for music, poetry and literature, Devendra has been an integral part of the School of Social Change and is currently mentoring all training pedagogies for the same. Along with mentoring SRUTI’s programs, he takes an active interest in strengthening sangathans and their team of volunteers.

About Hum Kisan Sangathan

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