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Ladai Chhodab Nahi
Work of a Body Collective


Poster, trailer and production stills of Ladai Chhodab Nahi


With the expansion of mining activities in Jharkhand, indigenous populations are at massive risk of displacement and loss of livelihood, in addition to land degradation, air, water and noise pollution. Tribal women have for long been on the receiving end of economic and political marginalisation and invisibilised patriarchy. Their identities hold powerful stories disregarded by the mainstream. Sitamani Devi, Bigan Kujur and Basanti Saradar come together to reclaim their identity, fighting against all odds.

Filmmaker's statement


Ladai Chhodab Nahi began as the documentation of the rage and labour of middle aged marginalised women from Jharkhand. My own rage comes from navigating a toxic workplace. Everyday I dress up for work and check twice, thrice and scrutinise myself for anything that could be labelled as "provocative". Whether you wear them or not, sexism and loud laughter on "wife didn't put salt in my food" jokes is rampant. My work space or, rather the room from which I functioned for over a year, consisted only of men. Several times I was in meeting rooms full of middle aged men who would look down upon women doing supposedly masculine jobs such as riding autos. I wrote minutes for these meetings, but remained mute, wearing a mask. 

While shooting, we came across three women whose rage has been overlooked and internalised over time, just like the labour of women from marginalised sections has been invisibilized over time. Their resistance remains undocumented, but the scars of labour have been documented on their bodies.

Women are individually fighting against Brahminical patriarchy and gender inequity. There is a parallel resistance in Jharkhand against big companies focussing on the plight of Adivasi women who work both as homemakers and liberators for the coming generations. Women who are part of self-help-groups, gram sabhas are working together to fight as part of the collective resistance. They are part of active protest and have to deal with stereotypes revolving around how activist women should be. The documentary is an amalgamation of all these readings.  

About the filmmaker

Work of a Body Collective is made up of four artists who tell stories from Jharkhand. Astha, a graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication who believes in telling stories of marginalised women through visual documentation; Deepak Kisku who makes films on the struggles of indigenous people; Surmayi Sargam who explores women’s experiences and works to challenge societal norms through the films and Vishal Ranjan who is a director and producer of documentary films, including the award winning Saraikela Chhau Dance.


Writer and Director | Astha

Executive Producer | Vishal Ranjan

Line Producer and Archival Footage | Deepak Kisku

Assistant Director and Research Assistant | Surmayi Sargam

Director of Photography | Shubham Burtue

Editor | Pawan Kamble

Sound Design and Music | Ajit Bhasin

Additional Editors | Mohit Barla, Robert, Vishal Ranjan

Location Sound Recordist | Pranay Kotangle

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