Like most adivasis, Jadhav’s fitness defies his age. He has a steady stream of visitors from the other padas, who come to him with their problems.

As part of the Shramik Mukti Sangh, Jadhav is diligent in maintaining all correspondence with government officials regarding issues of land rights.

Jadhav’s connection with his crops is an example of how the adivasis are intrinsically linked with their land and forests.

He plucks out a flower from his f arm. “This is tur dal (pigeon pea). It is ripe and will take a while before we harvest it,” Jadhav said. On his farm, which is spread across a slope, Jadhav grows finger millet, urad dal, cucumber, coconut, cashew nut, mango and sweet lime (mosambi).

On the conflict with the government, Jadhav says, “We have been living here forever and cannot be displaced. Even the leopards are part of our lives now. It is because of the leopards that the forest thrives and that gives us a livelihood.”


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