'Iron lady' seeks aid - Tribal leader banks on donations to fight election, ostracised community shuns ballot

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  • Published 25.03.14

Dayamani Barla (40), a tribal activist contesting on an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket in Khunti, is appealing to people to donate for her, as she says neither AAP nor she herself has money muscle.

Dayamani, at the forefront of tribal battles against big-ticket companies and the state over land acquisition, doesn’t have friends in high places.

“I need Rs 40 lakh to fight Lok Sabha polls. So far, I’ve received Rs 75,717 as donations,” Dayamani said, adding she launched a drive across Khunti, Simdega, Seraikela and Ranchi, seeking Re 1 and rice from villagers.

This apart, the ST candidate has appealed to supporters to donate for her online, on donation@aamaadmiparty.org, via debit or credit card. “I have an online donation portal myaadmiparty.org/candidate/jharkhand/khunti.html. Donors figure on the list. It’s a transparent process,” she said.

People can also donate via mobile service providers such as Airtel Money or www.myoxigen.com or any of the 10,000 Oxigen outlets in India.

A tribal journalist and activist, Dayamani, a masters in commerce, paid for her university education by working as a maid. She shot into the limelight, making friends and enemies in equal measure for protesting the acquisition of farmland for IIM-R, IIIT and NUSRL campus complex in Nagri and ArcelorMittal’s steel plant in Gumla-Khunti.

Her supporter Ajay Gupta, who donated Rs 2,000, said: “A new ray of hope has dawned thanks to Arvind Kejriwal sir. Since daughter of the soil Dayamaniji is contesting elections for AAP, we hope to contribute more,” he said.

Dayamani added she received over 600 likes on Facebook after getting the AAP ticket.