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Ms. Vidhya Das

  • 2013 Recipient, Development & Welfare of Women and Children

A sense of niggling discomfort affects me, a discomfort born of the fact that poverty and hunger are still a constant companion to millions of people in this country, and that our efforts are but a drop in the ocean of deprivation that affects tribes, and other underprivileged sections. Our progressive laws and policies are yet to reach the majority of these people, who struggle in the unorganised sector, and lead a hand to mouth existence. Our policy makers are worried about growth rate of the economy, but not of the stunted growth of that affects almost half our children.

The tribal communities along with their knowledge systems and their habitats are under serious threat as the nation embraces neo-liberal policies which seek to expand mining and industrial activities. Peasants and tribes are the inevitable victims of such trends. We as a nation must develop as one and together we can realise the dreams of our founding fathers, the dream of Swaraj for each, and Swaraj for all.

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