Green Yatra towards Women Empowerment

Neelam and Laali are landless farmers who reside in the Dankaur Village of Gautam Buddha Nagar district in Uttar Pradesh. They started working in nearby farms due to food shortages during the lockdown. Since work in the village did not promise them sufficient food or decent shelter, they decided to migrate to a bigger city in search of livelihood.

As they were planning to migrate, they got to know about the ongoing afforestation campaign by Green Yatra in partnership with the HCL Foundation and they decided to join the campaign. Taking into account the negative impact that the pandemic had on women, an afforestation campaign was initiated in Amarpur, Gautam Budh Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh.

Green Yatra aims towards raising community participation in environmental matters. It has been involved in the large-scale planning of planting trees that later resulted in developing healthy urban forests. Further, their work has also engaged and positively impacted migrant labourers in rural areas.

During the first COVID-19 lockdown, migrant labourers, especially women, faced huge challenges that adversely affected their health and livelihood.

According to a recent study conducted by the International Labor Organization, women lost more jobs as compared to men during the global pandemic.

Neelam and Lali walked 8 kilometres every day for work. They believe that their participation in the afforestation campaign assisted them in managing their domestic affairs more efficiently. In addition, they also got a fair opportunity to make better use of their skills through the afforestation campaign. Inspired by Laali and Neelam, other residents of Dankaur village, Kajal and Guddi joined the afforestation campaign as well.