Work area : Araria, Katihar and Saharsa districts, Bihar

Sohini is a queer feminist activist with the Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan – a trade union of landless labourers, marginal farmers and the youth, working across six districts in rural Bihar.

After graduating from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, they worked on issues of local self-governance in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, and on issues of social security as a citizen’s right as part of the Pension Parishad campaign nationally. For the last few years, they have settled in Araria, one of the poorest districts of Bihar, living and learning at the union, among Dalit-Bahujan workers who organise to fight for their rights and resources, against forces of caste-based feudalism, capitalism and patriarchy.

The union works on a range of issues that arise from our members, our units or the larger community and contexts – including land rights, entitlements like NREGA-ration-pensions, education and health, agricultural issues, fighting corruption through increased transparency and accountability in governance to resisting State and police violence or addressing caste and gender-based discrimination. While trying to encourage community leadership among the present and future generations, the union also believes in building larger regional, national and internationalist solidarities.

The union abides by Ambedkar’s mission of annihilation of caste and his call to – Educate! Organise! Agitate! And so, along with confronting and resisting oppressors, the union invests itself in the political education of the masses, setting up sustainable alternative models of development in using culture as a tool to fight back, and having fun while doing it.

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