Skip to main content

Odisha govt "obstructing" tribal gram sabhas seeking to do business in kendu leaf: Letter to chief minister

By Our Representative
Well-known civil rights organization, National Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), has urged Naveen Patnaik, chief minister of Odisha, to allow six tribal gram sabhas to resume their kendu leaves business. In a letter, CSD has blamed the state forest officials for "violating" Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 by "interfering" the gram sabhas seeking to trade in the leaves.
Six villages, Kalipur, Kanakpur, Kasturapadar, Jamjharan, Jamgudabahali and Khasiguda, all of the Golamunda block of Kalahandi district, started kendu leaf collection in the first week of May 2017 and contacted a kendu leaf businessman from Maharashtra and even entered into business contract.
But, according to CSD, forest officials in the district "obstructed their business activities and refused to allow them to sell their produce saying kendu trade is nationalised in the state." At the same time, it added, "Forest department officials also threatened the Maharashtra businessman who had done business contract with the six gram sabhas."
As a result, said CSD, the businessman left the leaves the tribals had collected and the villagers are now running pillar to post to dispose of the collected leaves.
Pointing out that the villagers have already approached senior government officials, including the district collector, the forest secretary, and the SC-ST minister, the letter said, they have "failed" to change things. Calling the state officials' attitude "criminal", it said, they should be tried under the FRA and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.”
Referring to the July 3 letter sent by Jual Oram, Union minister for tribal affairs, to Patnaik to "resolve the issue of six villages", CSD said, despite the letter, "till date forest officials of the area continue to maintain their stand and have not allowed the six gram sabhas to resumes the business."
The CSD further said, the forest department of Odisha has also ignored the July 22 letter vide No 13125, which mentions violation of FRA, 2006 by a Kalahandi forest official who has been "obstructing" kendu leave business being carried out by the six gram sabhas.
"In light of the requirements of law in this situation, and given your own stated position on the issue, we call upon your government to immediately direct the forest department to halt its illegal obstruction of the rights of the six villages. If this is not done soon, these villages will lose lakhs of rupees worth of revenue this year", the letter warned.
A national platform of adivasi and forest dwellers' organisations from 11 states, CSD has been closely involved in the struggle for the enactment and enforcement of the FRA, 2006.
Calling the forest officials ways "a matter of grave concern", the letter said, the villagers have been "fighting for the right to freely sell the kendu leaves that they collect" for quite time, asking Patnaik to ensure that the forest department halts "its illegal obstruction of the rights of the six villages".

Comments

TRENDING

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Church in India 'seems to have lost' moral compass of unequivocal support to the poor

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
In 2017, Pope Francis dedicated a special day, to be observed by the Universal Church, every year, as the ‘World Day of the Poor’. This year it will be observed on November 17 on the theme ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’; in a message for the day Pope Francis says:

There may have been Buddhist stupa at Babri site during Gupta period: Archeologist

By Rajiv Shah
A top-notch archeologist, Prof Supriya Varma, who served as an observer during the excavation of the Babri Masjid site in early 2000s along with another archeologist, Jaya Menon, has controversially stated that not only was there "no temple under the Babri Masjid”, if one goes “beyond” the 12th century to 4th to 6th century, i.e. the Gupta period, “there seems to be a Buddhist stupa.”

VHP doesn't represent all Hindus, Sunni Waqf Board all Muslims: NAPM on SC ruling

Counterview Desk
India's top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), even as describing the Supreme Court's Ayodhya judgement unjust, has said, it is an "assault on the secular fabric of the Constitution". In a statement signed by top social workers and activists, NAPM said, "The judgement conveys an impression to Muslims that, despite being equal citizens of the country, their rights are not equal before the law."

'First time' since 1970s poverty up 10%, consumer spending down 4%: GoI survey

By Our Representative
In what may prove to be a major embarrassment for the Government of India (GoI), a new official survey, carried out in 207-18, has reportedly said that average consumer spending in India fell by more than 4% the previous six years "primarily driven by slackening rural demand." The survey, "Key Indicators: Household Consumer Expenditure in India”, carried out by the National Statistical Office (NSO), says that money spent per person in a month fell by 3.7% from Rs 1,501 in 2011-12 to Rs 1,446 in 2017-18.

As fear 'grips' right liberals, Arvind Panagariya, too, would be declared anti-national?

By Rajiv Shah
It is surely well-known by now that India's top people in the power-that-be have been castigating all those who disagree with them as "anti-nationals". Nothing unusual. If till yesterday only "secular liberals", and "left-liberals" were declared anti-national, facts, however, appear to have begun surfacing that, now, guns are being trained against those who could be qualified as right liberals, too. Let me be specific.

National award winning film 'Hellaro' co-produced by three chartered accountants

By Our Representative
“Hellaro”, a Gujarati feature film produced by Saarthi Productions in association with Harfanmaula Films (Ahmedabad) was declared as the Best Feature Film at the National Film Awards which was conferred by the Government of India. The film also won the Special Jury Award for the Best Actress to all the 13 actresses of the film.
Ashish Patel produced the movie, which has been co-produced three co-producers, Aayush Patel, Prateek Gupta and Mit Jani, all of whom, interestingly, started their filmmaking journey after becoming Chartered Accountants in 2012.
“Hellaro” is directed by Abhishek Shah, who has been working in Gujarati theatre since the past 17 years as writer, director and actor and has received numerous awards for his plays. He has also worked as a casting director for 12 films.
“Hellaro” is a period drama based in Kutch and has been co-written by Abhishek Shah and Prateek Gupta. Gupta previously received the Best Debut Director Award, along with Mit Jan…