Work area : Jharsuguda district, Odisha

Umakant is an adivasi leader hailing from the Gond Adivasi family. At the age of 24, he began his community organization work by associating himself with Lok Mukti Sangthan, a prominent grassroots movement aimed at addressing socio-economic inequalities and advocating for the rights of marginalized communities. Initially, he joined as a volunteer, but due to his contributions, became an important pillar of the organization.

His leadership and presence have been instrumental in organizing and mobilizing marginalized communities in Jharsuguda. He has actively campaigned for the implementation of the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Area Act (PESA), which aims to empower tribal communities and grant them greater autonomy over local governance. He has been working for land rights for landless communities. Recognizing the importance of unity among various communities, he has worked tirelessly to unite them and collectively demand the implementation of the Odisha Land Reform Act.

Umakant has been actively involved in organizing communities facing assault and displacement from their lands. He has been a staunch advocate for their rights and has provided them with a platform to voice their concerns and seek justice. Through his initiatives, he has created awareness and mobilized support to protect these communities from further marginalization.

He has also focused on the effective implementation of the Forest Rights Act, particularly emphasizing community resource rights. He has been working towards enabling communities to protect their rights over these resources and manage them sustainably.

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