Work area : Barwani district, Madhya Pradesh

During her early days of work at Jhabua, Jayashree did extensive work as one of the founding members of Narmada Bachao Andolan. In this period, she along with her peers explored the possibilities of seeking long-term solutions to the question of alienation and exploitation that adivasis were increasingly facing in the modern world.

To work towards such existential questions being faced by rural societies, and with the growing realisation that mainstream education excluded adivasis and other subaltern cultures physically from its curriculum, Jayashree and her partner Amit set up Adharshila Learning Centre in 1998.

At Adharshila Shikshan Kendra, the methods of teaching would be firmly anchored in the relevant culture, history, livelihood and language of the local people. Community needs were prioritized, along with preserving and applying traditional knowledge in running and managing the school, led by children studying and living at the school. Organic farming, local crop diversity, arts and culture, adivasi history and theatre form a major part of the curriculum along with foundational academic subjects.

Jayashree has been an integral part of the School for Social Change and is currently mentoring training pedagogies for the same, along with mentoring SRUTI’s programs. Her active involvement in strengthening sangathans and their team of volunteers has made her involved deeply in subjects of social change.

She has more recently been involved closely with the issues of migration, helping workers in distress, and working with the state and district administration to address the plight of workers. She has been the strong point in being able to handle complex matters with ease and help others see the bigger picture. She is an avid reader and writer and has a deep interest in agriculture, seed preservation and issues of climate change.

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