A Tribute to Kaushalya Munda - Activist and Defender of Indigenous Peoples (1967-2019)

21 Jan 2019

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Ms. Kaushalya Munda, member of KAICIID’s Advisory Forum and longtime advocate for human rights, indigenous peoples, women and youth.

Ms. Munda, a member of the Munda tribe of India, was a leader in challenging the injustices inflicted on indigenous communities and defending the land rights of the indigenous peoples. Her advocacy and voluntary legal advice led to positive change in the face of injustice, and many of her efforts had national implications. She also changed the lives of vulnerable students by supporting them and establishing mechanisms to help them complete their education.

Ms. Munda led a UN mission to support indigenous peoples in life skill development and safeguarding their rights, and worked with UNICEF to improve the health of children. She was also an educator, promoting nutrition, prenatal care and reproductive health, as well as adolescent health and career counseling.

Ms. Munda was the President of the All India SC/ST Confederation for Affirmative Action committee; an advisor in the managing committee of the Adibasi Jan Kalyan Samity School; a member of the Adibasi Budhijivi Manch, Jharkhand; the treasurer of Bharat Munda Samaj, Jharkhand; advisor of Adim Jan Jati Sangh and a member of the Divine Mercy Prayer Trust in Kadma, Jharkhand. She was also a member of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Copenhagen. Ms. Munda received an M.A. in sociology from Ranchi University and took part in numerous trainings focusing on rights and conflict resolution among indigenous peoples around the world.

Ms. Munda served on KAICIID’s Advisory Forum, a network of religious leaders and other experts, who advise on the Dialogue Centre’s programmes, since 2016.

Her expertise was invaluable for the work of KAICIID’s Advisory Forum and the Centre, and she will be sorely missed.

The Centre’s Board of Directors, Advisory Forum and the staff extend their sincere condolences to family of Ms. Munda for their loss, and will hold her memory dear.