Sangtin Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan (SKMS)
Sangtin Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan (SKMS) is a people’s movement in Sitapur District of Uttar Pradesh in India. It emerged from Sangtin, a group formed by rural women to enable them to shape the processes of development at all levels. The SKMS saathis or members are mainly marginal farmers or landless laborers in rural Sitapur. More than 90 percent of the approximately 8000 voluntary saathis identify as Dalit, with women and men being equally active in the Sangathan. The overall planning is done by a 45-member core group.
Working through collective action, SKMS has led many struggles in the District, e.g., reviving and repairing canals, ensuring employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), obtaining pensions for the economically vulnerable, and realizing compensation during natural disasters. SKMS saathis were the first in Uttar Pradesh to realize unemployment benefits under MGNREGA; in January 2009 almost 15 lakh rupees were paid to 826 families in Mishrikh and Pisawan blocks of Sitapur District. Since then, SKMS has expanded its work to health, agricultural, and livelihood issues and spread across half the blocks in the District. SKMS is active in various state-level and national rights-based campaigns and networks.