Veerendra Dubey

Veerendra Dubey

Work area : Damoh district, Madhya Pradesh

Veerendra was driven to understand the issues of poverty and unemployment at a young age. As an active member of the National Service Scheme (NSS), he routinely organized camps and developed volunteerism. After he graduated from Damoh govt college, he started working with a local CBO. During his field visits and through working closely in the villages, he understood developmental questions that were posed towards tribals, dalits and other rural communities.

To work with a more independent and dedicated forum that would take up such issues, he moved to volunteer with the sangathan (BKMSS). Over the next two years, he emerged as an efficient mobilizer, learning theatre, documentation and an enhanced understanding of forest issues. His work has addressed the issues of evictions of 104 villages in the buffer zone of the Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary (a region marked by administrative lacuna) by the forest department. Declaration of tiger corridors across the region has further alienated the rights of forest-dwelling communities, in a region that faces adequate drought conditions.

In a region marked with poor social indicators, feudal relationships and subjugation of women and other marginalised communities, the sangathan has become much more relevant while trying to build access to justice, grievance redressal, secure entitlements and enable proper implementation of social welfare schemes. Under Veerendra’s leadership, BKMSS has also been trying to leverage for better production and marketing of forest produce, attempting to free marginal farmers from the shackles of unfair trade.

Veerendra has been instrumental in taking forward the initiatives for forest rights in the state by undertaking capacity building of officials and has a strong regional presence around the issues of community rights recognition and displacement. He has focussed on building legal underpinnings among community members and takes an active interest in issues of regional and national importance.

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