Dorothy Fernandes is a Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a social activist who has been working in Patna since 1997 with communities on the periphery, with the goal of making their cities inclusive, so that no one is left behind. She also serves as the chairperson of the Women's Commission for the Archdiocese of Patna and is the advisory member of the social wing of the archdiocese – Forum for Social Initiatives.
About six of us from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand states travelled some 1,000 kilometers to sit with the farmers as a mark of solidarity. It was for me a truly spiritual experience.
Women in India are saying, "There is a new awakening; we want our children to live in peace, harmony and brotherhood as we have lived for all these years. We are out because we love our land, we love our country and we want to safeguard our Indian Constitution."
In India, in the name of development, the government is simply "evicting" people who live in substandard housing, leaving them with no shelter. But those people are part of communities, and local women leaders are trying to assert their rights.
For over 16 years I have worked on a campaign for shelter rights for the urban poor of Patna. After we had worked so long to get the administration and government of India to listen to the pleas of people on the periphery, an opportune time finally arrived.