Here is the goosebumps-inducing story of a poor, Adibasi Woman who braved all odds to educate herself & then herself educated over 20000 Adibasi children across 50 years. She is TULASI MUNDA- a self-taught educationist, spreading the light of knowledge among impoverished tribal children.

Munda was born on 15 July 1947 in Kainshi Village, Keonjhar district, Odisha. As a child, she wished to study but the idea of educating girls was socially unacceptable. At age 12, she went to Serenda village to live with her sister. There she worked in mines for which she was paid ₹2 per week. Still she never gave up & taught herself the alphabets as & when she could.

In 1961, she met great women like Malti Chaudhury, Rama Devi & Nirmala Deshpande, who were committed towards educating women. Tulasi participated in their village forays & struggles in different parts of India. In 1963, she met social reformist Vinobha Bhave & was inspired by his donation of  land (bhoodan) & improving poor villagers’ lives.

She returned to Serenda in 1964 & started an informal school in the veranda of the local Pradhan’s home. Later, she started the "Adivasi Vikas Samiti School". As of 2019, the school provides education upto 10th standard for nearly 500 students every year. Since 1964, she has helped the government establish 17 schools for primary/secondary education in Keonjhar. In 2001, she was awarded Padma Shri.

Recently, she has fallen ill. We pray for her good health forever.



For Women's Day on March 8 2021, we present stories of 8 Inspiring Women of Odisha. For this, at the outset, we want to thank #bmcbhubaneswar @smartcitybhubaneswar for conceptualizing the Street Art and Mural Project (STAMP) & making murals of fine women on Bhubaneswar's walls before #InternationalHockeyWorldCup2018. In busy city dwellers' lives, these 60 plus numbers of women's murals over a dedicated km-plus stretch of walls, have kept denizens connected to their awe-inspiring life stories. And Team Utkalamrita pays tribute to 8 such inspiring women, having done a humble photoshoot with these Larger-Than-Life Murals in the backdrop.

#womenempowerment #womensday

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