Kaushalya Munda
Country: India

Social Worker and Advocate for Women and Indigenous Peoples

Kaushalya Munda (1976-2019) was a revered member of the KAICIID Advisory Forum whose memory is held dear by the Centre. Her work as an advocate for human rights, indigenous peoples and women was truly inspiring, and her passion for promoting health and justice changed the lives of many. Her expertise as a practitioner was invaluable for the work of KAICIID’s Advisory Forum and the Centre and we are eternally grateful for her service.

Kaushalya Munda was a social worker and advocate for women and indigenous peoples in India. As a member of the Munda tribe, an Indian indigenous community, she led a UN mission to save indigenous peoples and the underprivileged by assisting them with life skill development and safeguarding their rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She also led several UNICEF projects on preventing and controlling anemia in girls and children.

Ms. Munda was an educator, lecturing in and promoting nutrition, prenatal care and reproductive health. She also worked as a research and monitoring officer of a project on adolescent health and their holistic development, including career counseling and life skill development at the Tata Steel Rural Development Society.  

Ms. Munda addressed many legal issues related to false charges inflicted on indigenous communities or persons at the administrative level. All cases raised by Ms. Munda had positive responses and have been addressed with significant judgement. She also sponsored two vulnerable indigenous community students in completing their technical education and established a linkage and scope for students of a vulnerable community in adopting technical education.

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.