Joel Lakra is the first intellectual tribal leader of the 20th century who raised the question of tribal rights socially and politically in the 1930s. He reorganized the Chotanagpur Unnati Samaj (Chotanagpur Improvement Society) formed in 1920 and provided the form of a movement. In front of the Simon Commission, he had demanded tribal autonomy with very brightness. His intellectuals, political awareness and organizational initiatives have taken the form of Adivasi Mahasabha later.
Sushila Samad (7 June 1906-10 December 1960) is the first Indian tribal poet, journalist and editor in Hindi and freedom fighter. In Hindi poetry, she was contemporary to Mahadevi Verma and Subhadra Kumar Chauhan. In 1931, Sushila Samad passed the first class examination from Prayag-Mahila Vidyapeeth. Then in 1932 successfully completed the education of Vinodini and Viduashee (BA Honors) in 1934. She is not only a poetess, but in the 1925-30 period she was also editing and publishing a literary-social magazine, 'Chandni', and in that time, Gandhi's only tribal woman as the 'Suraji' (freedom fighter) from Jharkhand. Her two poetry collections are published: 'Pralap' in 1935 and 'Sapne Ka Samsar' in 1948.
Angelina Tigga (born 3 August 1909) was a popular Oraon Adivasi women writer, politiian and leader from Pathalkudwa, Ranchi. She was a very popular tribal organizer, a strong speaker and influential female leader. Having been politically aware of tribal women, she had a major role in connecting them with Adivasi Mahasabha. In the 1940-60s, she gave leadership to mass movements on many issues. She was President of the Adivasi Mahila Sangh (1939), Member. Executive Committee of Bihar Council of Women. She was also MP (Rajya Sabha) 3-4-1952 to 2-4-1954 from Jharkhand party.
Jaipal Singh Munda (3 January 1903 - 20 March 1970) was a supreme leader of the Indian Adivasis and the Jharkhand Movement. He was a well-known politician, journalist, writer, editor, educationist and the only international player of hockey, who has the title of 'Oxford Blue' in 1925. In his captaincy, India won the first gold medal in the 1928 Olympic hockey. In January 1938, he assumed the presidentship of the Adivasi Mahasabha which demanded the separate state of Jharkhand. After this, Jaipal Singh became the voice of tribal rights in the country.
Julius Tigga (13 October 1903-1971) was a well-known tribal educationist, writer-editor, artist, cultarist, politician and organizer. He is the leader of the first generation of India's tribal movement who played an intellectual role in establishing Adivasi politics in India. From 1939-1948 he was the General Secretary of Adivasi Mahasabha and edited the Adivasi journal in Hindi and Adivasi languages of Jharkhand. For Adivasi journalism he had to suffer in jail. He also laid the foundation of Adivasi education and opened a Dhumkuriya school in which children were taught with traditional methods.
Being an Adivasi, Pyara Kerketta (3 June 1903 - 25 December 1973) took up the claim of Jharkhandi community with unprecedented zeal and established it in the Indian Society. He revived and re – organized indigenous languages for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Jharkhand. He wrote and published elementary books for learning and teaching in mother tongue and local Jharkhandi dialects. He initiated modern refined literature in Kharia language. He organized cultural movement by leading the youth for the re-construction of honour and self-respect of indigenous and tribal people of Jharkhand. Under the Colonial Rule as well as in the Post Independence period, he fought for the overall upliftment of the oppressed population of Jharkhand.
Raghunath Murmu (5 May 1905 - 1 February 1982) is a great leader and philosopher of Santali language, literature and Adivasi cultural movement. In 1925, he invented the Ol Chiki script. He has written more than 150 books of history, language, grammar, novel, drama, poetry etc. Mayurbhanj Adivasi Mahasabab gave him the title of Guru Gomke (great teacher). The movement that Guru Gomke initiated through the script for cultural unity through language is historic. He said - If you forget your language, culture, script and religion then your existence will also vanished.
Ot Guru Lalo Bodra (19 September 1919 - 29 June 1986) is an eminent leader of Adivasi language, literature and cultural movement of Jharkhand. In the 1940s, he invented the 'Warang Chiti' script for the Ho Adivasi language and established 'Adi Culture and Science Research Institute' for its promotion. This institution is still engaged in the development of Ho language, literature and culture. In the Ho language and the Warang Chiti script, he has composed the history, drama, stories and poetry books of his tribal community.
Alice Ekka (8 September 1917 – 5 July 1978) is India's first women Adivasi (tribal) Hindi story writer who used to write stories in the 60's. Her collection of stories "Alice Ekka Ki Kahaniyan' was published in 2015 after 36 years of death. In this collection, stories from the 1950s and 1970s published in 'Adivasi' magazine were collected. She is also credited with writing the first Dalit story of Hindi. She belongs to the Munda Adivasi community of Jharkhand. Alice died at the age of 61 on July 5, 1978 at Gungutoli (near Bahu Bazar), Ranchi.