Hidme Markam is an Adivasi Human Rights defender, an advocate for the rights of indigenous people against state and police violence, and an anti-mining campaigner. She is the Convener of the Jail Bandi Rihai Manch (JBRM), a platform advocating release of Adivasi persons. She is from the Burgum Village of the conflict-ridden Dantewada District, Chhattisgarh. She is a part of the Gond tribe.
Life and Activsim
Markam grew up in a militarized region and was the primary provider for her family after her father’s death in 2008. In 2014, she took up work as a mid-day meal cook in a public school to fund her younger sister’s education. She quit her job two year later to dedicate all her time social work. She campaigned against the mining activities of big corporations such as the Adani Pvt Ltd. She led a protest to oppose mining activities of the Adani group’s mining work in Bailadila Hill region, as a part of the Nandraj Pahad (mountains) Movement.
She organised protests against state brutalities on Adivasi persons especially women and campaigned for the release of Adivasi persons languishing in jail. She launched JBRM to provide legal aid to Adivasi person held as undertrials across Chhattisgarh along with other prominent human rights defender such as Soni Sori and Sujit Karma.
On 9th March, 2021 Hidme was arrested by a large group of paramilitary force during a International Women’s Day Program organised in the village of Sameli to remember Adivasi women who had been victimized by state violence.
Charges and Allegations
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Sections 302 and 307 (murder and attempt to murder) among other sections of the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, and Explosives Act. Police accused Hidme Markam of being a Maoist and put a bounty of Rs. 100,000 on her.
Released on 5th January, 2023.