Mehmood Hasan joined PRADAN in 2008 and is based in Jharkhand. He is the Team Coordinator and mentors a team of young professionals, working at the grass roots. He has been working with women collectives in the Santhal Pargana region and his area of interest is livelihoods and gender equality. Mehmood holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Dr. B R Ambedkar University, Agra, and Masters in Social Work from Aligarh Muslim University.
Based on the engagement with the Santhal women of Poraiyahat block in Jharkhand, this article tries to capture the struggle in the life of Santhal women for being unable to inherit ancestral property and the pain they go through while accessing their right as per the provisions given in Santhal tribe’s customary laws. It explores the possibilities for Santhal women to inherit ancestral property in the provisions given in statutory laws and customary practices.
Getting a foothold into the existing male-dominated Panchayati Raj Institutions seemed a Herculean task for the women of the SHGs—a challenge they took up with zest and determination, leading to their victory and the beginnings of change
Realizing that our perceptions determine our approach to any person or situation, a Development Apprentice recounts how his negative impressions about the people of Sunderpahari marred his engagement with them and how change happened once he was willing to allow a shift in his perceptions about their innate nature and strengths.