Amulya is from a middle class agrarian family, he began community development work in 1985 with Samajik Seva Sadan in Odisha. During his 10 year association with the organisation, he worked with adivasis in over 60 villages on health and education issues, honing his skills as a trainer and mobiliser. Driven by the desire to work in his own area, he left the organization to form Adivasi Chetna Sangathan (ACS) and pursue grassroots work in Dhenkanal in 1996. Amulya has been a SRUTI Fellow since 1997.
The sangathan started work by accessing land and forest titles and livelihood rights for resident adivasi communities. It led diverse movements from resisting illegal quarrying, stone crushing and construction to promoting forest conservation and self-governance through Panchayati Raj Insititutions. Realizing the need to adopt a two pronged approach to deal with the implications of rapid development in a mineral-rich agrarian region, Amulya started working with footloose migrant labour. Lack of rights over land and forest resources, coupled with forced displacement resulted in heavy migration of adivasis seeking employment in nearby industries. The sangathan took up the enormous task of mobilizing and creating awareness amongst contract factory labourers who were forced to live in ‘hattings’ or settlements which usually had appalling living conditions, without any access to basic facilities like water, sanitation, health and education. An important tool used by Amulya and the sangathan is that of cultural expression, especially Theatre of the Oppressed, to build political consciousness by encouraging active engagement with key issues through the context of theatre.