Shantatai Yevatikar is 56 years old, born in a Dalit family in Nanded district of Maharashtra. She has worked under the State Employment Guarantee Scheme (SEGS), during which she got involved with several Dalit Rights organisations, thus becoming an active part of the Dalit movement. Yevatikar has been addressing issues of Dalits and other oppressed communities, particularly the rights of agriculture labourers, including land rights entitlements, women’s rights etc. Within her work towards women’s rights, Yevatikar has taken up many issues concerning discrimination and gender based violence. She also worked for the empowerment of women and children by setting up self help groups, and getting them access to various government schemes. She has been a part of campaigns that fight against female foeticide.
Yevatikar has been closely working with Manuski since 2012. With Manuski, she has participated in a series of trainings and gained new perspectives for effective social work. These trainings have been on the topics of Prevention of Atrocities Act, implementation of Schedule Caste & Schedule Tribe Budget, Building technical capacities of NGO’s, Fund-raising workshops etc. She also participated in Manuski’s Women Empowerment and Leadership workshop, and Campaign on Domestic violence act, 2005, Sexual Harassment at Work place Act 2013 workshop.
She has been honored with many awards, including the IBN Lokmat Award by the Maharashtra government, for her larger contribution to the society, in particular for women in backward regions of the state. She has also received recognitions for her work by the main stream media.
Yevatikar says, “We registered Shramajivi Sanstha (Trust) in 1994 to do social work, but we ignored to do the structural development and organizational work of the Trust until we got associated with Manuski in 2012. When I participated in the NGO leadership development workshop arranged by Manuski, I came to know the importance of structural development of Orgnisation and Staff leadership of NGOs.”
In 2015, she also established another organisation the “Mahila Sanvad Pratisthan”, which prides itself in having an all-women board.