Milind Thatte lives in a tribal village in northern western ghats. He has founded and runs a movement called ‘Vayam’ with the support of his family and a robust team of tribal and urban volunteers. Vayam movement has won quite a few awards for its work in strengthening democracy at roots. The movement has a spread in over 100 tribal villages and has also inspired youth in other rural areas take up the Vayam mantra – of faith in democracy and strength in ‘We’ (the meaning of Vayam).
The Governor of Maharashtra State has appointed Milind Thatte as an expert member on the state Tribal Advisory Council considering his clasp of the roots and grasp of the system.
Milind left his job as a journalist with Mumbai-based newspapers in 1999 and volunteered full-time for three years for a non-formal education project for tribal children. He has lived and walked in tribal villages of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand. Milind has worked as a consultant on ‘development communication’. His journey from a grass-roots voluntary worker to a state-level consultant on mass communication for the Government has earned him a good picture of reality from varied perspectives. He was an IEC consultant to Government of Maharashtra in its ‘User-centred groundwater management project’. He has developed communication strategies for some other government and non-government projects in the NRM (Natural resources management) sector. He also conducted the performance audit for the government of it’s rural water supply projects in 11 tribal districts of Maharashtra. He has given similar services to non-gov organisations for their water supply projects in the challenging areas of coastal Gujarat and Uttarakhand.
He writes frequently in Marathi newspapers.
• Milind’s research on implementation of Forest Rights Act has culminated in his e-book “Our forests, our people“.
‘रानबखर’ – आनुभवावर आधारित आदिवासी जीवन संघर्षाचे पदर उलगडून दाखवणारे पुस्तक. समकालीन प्रकाशन, पुणे. पुस्तक http://www.bookganga.com वर उपलब्ध.
‘साकव’- लोकमत दैनिकाच्या मंथन पुरवणीतले सदर. दोन जगांच्या संघर्षात समन्वयाचे पूल शोधण्याचा प्रयत्न
‘भरारी’ – लोकमतच्या ॊक्सिजन पुरवणीत ग्रामीण व निमशहरी तरुणांना उद्योगासाठी प्रेरित करण्याचा प्रयत्न
• ‘Nisargachi Bhagati’ a paper on practices of nature worshipping, published in Antarnaad (elite Marathi magazine)
• ‘Maazi Manse’ (my people), a weekly column on experiences in tribal villages, published in Yuva Sakal
• ‘A handbook for communicators in tribal districts’, published by RSPMU of Government of Maharashtra as a part of IEC strategy in its Rural water supply and sanitation project
• ‘Rural yellow pages for exposure visits’, a directory of places for villagers to see rural development, published by RSPMU of Government of Maharashtra as a part of IEC strategy in Rural water supply and sanitation project
• ‘Pehla pag waman ka’, a book of success stories of ordinary tribal youth, published by Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, new Delhi.
• ‘Storm in a tea estate’, a story of an ex-ULFA terrorist, (unpublished)
Links to online Marathi articles