Dayamani Barla – The Iron Lady of Jharkhand

When the going gets tough, the tough get going this saying is best suited on Ms. Dayamani Barla, popularly known as Iron Lady of Jharkhand. Born in Jharkhand, Dayamani belonged to the Munda tribe. Since childhood, Dayamani struggled to fund her education by her own. Because of the deprived financial conditions, Ms. Barla had to work as a day laborer to continue her studies at school.

Deprived of any fancy facilities or luxury, Dayamani tussle to fight for right is an exemplar to all. Her dedication towards the education is so firm that she sometimes slept on railway station to continue her degree in education in journalism.

Ms. Barla dedicates her life to fight for the rights of tribal communities at Jharkhand. She joined Koel Karo movement in 1995 and never look back, to dedicatedly focus on tribal’s issue she launched a newspaper named Jan Haq in 1997. Dayamani had faced numerous threats for her work towards the tribal welfare but nothing comes in her way to achieve what she aimed for.


Barla also works in a popular Hindi newspaper called Prabhat Khabar to address the issues and problems related to tribes at Jharkhand. Dayamani always wanted to be updated with the current problems and issues, to cater her always inquisitive attitude she opened a tea stall along with her husband for livelihood and in this way she can always earn money as well as get notified with current trends due to the crowd conversation at tea stop.

Barla is the National President of Indian Social Action Form, INSAF. Her struggle and passion for working for Tribal welfare are noticed by several societies and she has been awarded as Counter Media Award for Rural Journalism in 2000 and National Foundation for India Fellowship in 2004. Barla also added another golden feather in her cap when in 2013, she was granted the Ellen L. Lutz indigenous Award by an International NGO called Cultural Survival.