Dance with Hands Held Tight

Eighty percent of rural women in India are engaged in livelihoods that are dependent on natural resources. This intense relationship throws up a whole range of issues and questions. Does the policy recognize this intensity? Do we all value the knowledge systems, which may have developed among these women? How have women coped with coercion from state in their efforts to access natural resources? The film explores these questions through four focused engagements. The fisherwomen off the coast of Karnataka are distraught and distressed today. The fish catch on which they and their families have lived on has gone down. The Apatani Women of Ziro, the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh have controlled their unique fish-paddy agriculture for many years. However, the future of this agriculture is unsure. The adivasi (indigenous people) and dalit (SCs) women of Kashipur, the eastern state of Orissa have taken their fight over rights of Hill Broom, directly into the courtyard of the state. Not only this, the women of Sonebhadra, the central state of Uttar Pradesh have braved bullets and physical abuse of the state to protect their land from being taken over.