Jharkhand’s forest communities crumble under climate change and government apathy

Long dry spells, erratic rains, an unorganized market and lack of clarity on forest rights have dealt a blow to the livelihoods of the state’s indigenous people.

This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center.

“I will eat mahua and I will also make sweets. My children too will eat it,” Sukhmani Devi breaks into a song. The song the 50-year-old from Jharkhand’s Kope village is singing is tinged with nostalgia for the days of abundant forest produce, mahua flowers being one of them. As India headed for its driest August in over a century, members of Jharkhand’s tribal communities, like Devi, who rely on forest products for their livelihoods, desperately hoped for the rains—only to be disappointed. 

At the tail end of the monsoon season, Jharkhand …



Sushmita is an award winning journalist, researcher, multimedia artist and former engineer with over 15 years of experience across sectors. She works on climate change, environment, forests, gender-based violence and more. She can be reached at sushmitaw@protonmail.com.