Mahesh Raut is an activist working with Adivasi in Gadchiroli. He studied at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Mumbai and has worked as a Prime Minister Rural Development Fellow in Gadchiroli.
Raut was born in Lakhapur village in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region. He did his schooling from Navodaya school in Gadchiroli. In 2009, he joined TISS, Mumbai to study social work. After completing his degree from TISS, Raut was selected for the Prime Minister Rural Development (PMRD) fellowship. In 2018, he suffered from acute ulcerative colitis.
Raut is a co-convener of the Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vilas Andolan (VVJVA), which fights the displacement of marginalised communities. Under the VVJVA, he has campaigned along with Adivasi communities of the region to sell Tendu leaves directly into the market without the involvement of the middlemen. He is also a member of the Bharat Jan Andolan, a human rights NGO. He has campaigned against mining projects in Gadhciroli, including the Surajgarh mining project. He has also campaigned against caste discrimination.
- Johari, Aarefa. "A poet, a lawyer, a professor: These are the five activists held for sparking Bhima Koregaon clashes". Scroll.in. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
- "The People's Fighters: Meet the Five Arrested in the Bhima Koregaon Case". The Wire. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
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