Jerome Gerald Kujur

Jerome Gerald Kujur

Work area : Gumla and Latehar districts, Jharkhand

Jerome joined the sangathan at a young age and is currently the Secretary of Jansangharsh Samiti, comprising members from more than 300 villages in the Netarhat region of Jharkhand. He has worked as a freelance journalist for many years and has a long-term association with many adivasi networks, media, activists and policy-makers in Jharkhand. He is also widely respected for his simple living, strong educational credentials and ability to bring people together. He has also edited Hindi magazines like Janhak, Hari Ghati, Janpath, and Jharkhand Ahwan; and contributed articles to leading Hindi dailies. He has also authored a book on indigenous displacement issues on the Netarhat Field Firing Range Project.

He attempts to bring forward issues faced by the adivasi communities and takes effective policy suggestions by working with gram sabhas in the region. The striking and most unique feature of Jansangharsh Samiti is there is no leadership of one person but the leadership of the community and elders. Duties assigned to office members rotate with time, and a position is held for only a particular period depending on the skills, interests and ability to devote time.

In Aug 2022, the Jharkhand government finally denotified the project and said it will not re-notify Netarhat Field Firing Range, which spans nearly 1,470 sq km across 245 villages in two districts, recognising the decades-long demands of adivasi communities. Led by Jan Sangharsh Samiti, it is a historical win to protect the rich biodiversity of the region and the lives and livelihoods of adivasi communities.

Jerome is working to create awareness and disseminate information on multifaceted issues marring the region like the question of displacement, the upcoming Elephant Corridor and Tiger Reserve Projects, proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act, PESA and building peoples’ rights over their lands and livelihoods.

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