Chamiyala: A Celebration of the Ghashiyaris, the Heroic Struggling Women of Uttarakhand, Jan 6

On January 6th, Chetna Andolan will be holding a mass public meeting and competition to celebrate the ghashiyaris – the grass collectors of rural Uttarakhand. In every struggle for justice in the State, these women have been at the forefront. They have fought to protect the forests and environment of the State; to defend their homes against displacement; and for the dignity and autonomy of their communities. Yet today they, and the forests they so deeply understand, cherish and fight for, stand ignored, neglected and repressed.

The meeting will be held in Kotiyada, Chamiyala, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand.

In order to celebrate and highlight the ghashiyaris skills, a “best ecologist” award will be presented at the event to the most skilled ghashiyari. For the last month, village level competitions have been held in 112 gram panchayats (encompassing more than 200 villages) to identify 30 finalists who will compete in the final competition on the 6th. The winner will receive a silver crown worth Rs. one lakh; the first runner up, one worth Rs. 51,000; and the second runner up one worth Rs. 21,000. All expenses for the programme and awards are being borne from local contributions and donations. We are expecting that several thousand people will join the final public meeting as well. More details are available here:

We hope you will join us for this important event.

Chetna Andolan