PAJHRA, which means “life spring” in Adivasia (Sadri) language, stands for Promotion and Advancement of Justice, Harmony and Rights of Adivasis. PAJHRA was conceptualised in November 2001 by a group of Adivasi social activists and leaders and was formalized on 9th April 2002. PAJHRA is an initiative to advance the human and labour rights, wellbeing, and social integration of Adivasis from all walks of life in Assam.

 

Adivasis, within indigenous groups, are a community who were forcefully brought by the British in the 18th century from Central India to work in the tea plantations of Assam. Most of the major Adivasi tribes in Assam – including the Oraon, Munda, Kharia, Santhal, Gorh, Ho, Saora, and Bhil – continue to live inside tea plantation enclaves or villages. Due to their minority ethnic status and isolation on tea plantations, Adivasis experience serious marginalization in Assam.

 

PAJHRA’s goal is to help enable the Adivasi community to promote their own rights and wellbeing. It does so by bringing individuals and groups together to tackle community challenges including education, labour rights, trafficking, and disaster response, among others. PAJHRA collaborates with organisations within the Adivasi community – such as Adivasi NGOs, student organisations, women’s organisations, and literary organisations (Sahitya Sabhas) that are preserving Adivasi languages and cultures. PAJHRA also partners with organisations outside the Adivasi community – such as non-Adivasi NGOs, church development agencies, human rights bodies, and many regional and national development agencies. Finally, PAJHRA collaborates with networks like the People’s Rights Forum, All India Network to End Human Trafficking, and Wada Na Todo Abhiyan to raise attention to challenges faced by Adivasi people.

VISION

A self-reliant and confident Adivasi community with permanent and legitimate place in North East India, coexisting in harmony with other tribes and communities.

 

MISSION

To empower members of the Adivasi community and their institutions by building their self-esteem and capacity to advocate for their rights.

 

AREAS OF INTERVENTION 

  • Humans & Labour Rights
  • Women’s Leadership
  • Human Trafficking
  • Youth and Education
  • Adivasi Culture and Language
  • Disaster Management
  • Capacity Building of Adivasi Organisations
  • Multistakeholder Dialogue

PAJHRA is duly registered under the Societies Registration Act and Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act.

 

General Body

PAJHRA’s General Body is comprised of 49 Registered Members from different districts of Assam. The members are respected Adivasis who have standing in society as teachers, lawyers, social workers, and other professionals and leaders. They serve in a voluntary advisory capacity, meeting annually to decide the general scope and direction of PAJHRA’s work and appoint the members of PAJHRA’s Executive Committee. PAJHRA is always seeking to increase the number of women serving in its General Body; presently there are four female registered members.

 

Executive Committee

PAJHRA’s Executive Committee currently consists of 16 Executive Members, including four women, appointed from among the Registered Members to serve staggered, three-year terms. The Executive Committee meets quarterly to determine and govern PAJHRA’s programmes and activities. The Executive Committee is headed by a President, who is supported by a Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Executive Committee is divided into subcommittees responsible for overseeing specific aspects of the organisation such as legal matters, media and communications, finances, and projects.

LIST OF EXECUTIVE MEMBERS:

Sl. No. Name Designation Occupation
1. Dr. Sunil Pio President Asst. Professor
2. Mr. Ghana Kanta Orang Vice President Asst. Teacher
3. Stephen Ekka Director cum Secretary Social worker
4. Mr. Lucas Tigga Treasurer Asst. teacher
5. Fr. Ethelbert Minj Member Social worker
6. Fr. Hippoletus Toppo Member Principal
7. Rev. Michael Herenz Member Social worker
8. Ms. Lily Kujur Member Asst. teacher
9. Ms. Veronica Tirkey Member Asst. teacher
10. Mr. Mintu Hembrom Member Journalist
11. Mr. Dalim Tirkey Member Asst. teacher
12. Dr. Virginius Xaxa Member Professor
13. Ms. Angela Nag Member Asst. teacher
14. Sr. Usha Bage Member Social worker
15. Sr. Mary Hasdak Member Headmistress
16. Ms. Sashi Kujur Lakra Member Asst. teacher

 

Management

PAJHRA’s Management executes the plans that PAJHRA’s Executive Committee sets for the organisation. The Management head is PAJHRA’s Director, who also serves as the Secretary of the Executive Committee. Other management staff are not part of the Executive Committee. The staff members support the day-to-day research and programming activities of PAJHRA.

 

PAJHRA Training Centre

Surrounded by lush green tea gardens and Adivasi villages, the Adivasi Culture, Research and Training Centre (ACRTC) offers a serene atmosphere for meetings, cultural gathering, and basic training of groups of up to 40 people. One of the Adivasi schools is also run from this centre, where children from nearby villages come to learn in their own mother tongue.

 

The ACRTC is situated at Sapoi Bhutia Ali village in Dhekiajuli. It is 10 km from the NH 52 and Dhekiajuli town and about 50km from Tezpur, the district headquarter.