Skip to main content

Odisha tribals are not beneficiaries, they are forest rights holders: State govt told

By Our Representative
The Odisha state chapter of the Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), the national level forum of tribals and forest dwellers which struggled for the enactment of Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, has raised serious concern over the use of the word “beneficiary” instead of “forest rights holder” by the scheduled caste (SC)-scheduled (ST) development, minority and backward classes welfare department, Government of Odisha on its website.
Questioning the word “beneficiary”, used by SC-ST department while uploading village- and district-wise list of individual forest rights (IFR) title holders, CSD asserted, “We are seriously hurt with this attitude of government officials/SC-ST department, which has been the nodal department for the FRA implementation in the state since 2008.”
“FRA is not like other anti-poverty schemes and programmes, and by using the ward “beneficiary, government officials are not only disrespected the forest rights holders but also undermining the forest rights recognized under the FRA”, it said in a statement.
CSD said, it is of the view that FRA, 2006 is a historic enactment passed by the Indian Parliament and is the result of consistent struggles of the tribal and forest dweller from the British period. In the preamble of the Act, the government has admitted to have done injustice with the forest dwelling tribals and other forest dwellers in pre- and post-independence period and FRA said to have enacted to undo that historical injustice done over the period.
The preamble reads: “The forest rights on ancestral lands and their habitat were not adequately recognized in the consolidation of State forests during the colonial period as well as in independent India resulting in historical injustice to the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who are integral to the very survival and sustainability of the forest ecosystem”.
“We believe that by considering and mentioning the rights holder as ‘beneficiary’ the Government of Odisha is trying to repeat the injustice done with the forest dwellers and FRA which recognizes the pre-existing rights of the tribal and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs), and by recognizing these rights, Government of Odisha is not doing any charity”, CSD claimed.
CSD said, the Government of Odisha should know said that “while in the claim form-A for claiming IFR given in the Annexure-I, the word ‘claimant’ has been mentioned, and the ‘name(s) of holder(s) of forest rights’ has been mentioned in the IFR title format in annexure-II. Besides, Section 6 of the FRA recognizes the Gram Sabha as the authority of the village and village common resources including community Forest resources CFR.”
In a letter to the chief secretary, Government of Odisha, who is also the chairman of the FRA State level Monitoring Committee (SLMC), CSD said, it was a gross violation of FRA by the SC-ST Department and has requested him to immediately correct the mistake. “Otherwise we will be bound to take next course of action against it and will write to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission on Scheduled Tribes (NCST), the state High Courd etc.”, the letter warned.
CSD also drew the attention of the chief secretary to look into the comments/orders made by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India and the Odisha State Food Commission (OSFC) after review of FRA implementation in the state, urging his office to expedite community rights recognition process, review all rejected claims, including those of OTFDs, to demarcate whatever IFR titles which have been recognized under the Act till date and to do records of rights (RoR) correction in the state.
CSD further requested the chief secretary to upload village-wise details of IFR and community forest rights (CFR) titles in the SC-ST department website including number of claims filed and titles issued, the area recognized in all district, including Sundargrah and Kandhamal, which have been left out.

Comments

TRENDING

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Nuclear power expansion: Is AEC's new, 'unrealistic' target fully backed by PMO?

By Shankar Sharma*  Another unrealistic and tall claim by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has been announced: India is eyeing 100 GW nuclear power by 2047, the AEC chairman  AK Mohanty   has said. A few years ago, the dream target for the Indian nuclear establishment was 275,000 MWe of nuclear power by 2050 (as per DAE document of 2008 "A Strategy for the Growth of Electricity in India”). Now this target of 100 GW nuclear power by 2047. And as at the end of February 2024, the actual nuclear power capacity was only 7,480 MWe, which formed only 1.7% of the total power capacity in the country. 

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

How huge crowd at Mukhtar Ansari funeral is comparable to BJP's 'people's court' talk

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The massive crowd at the funeral of Mukhtar Ansari in Mohammadabad reflects the power and influence that his family wields in the area. One can't deny that he had enormous power in Ghazipur and Mau districts. But the crowd that came and chanted slogans in his favour does not exonerate him of his conviction by the court.  It is important that we understand this.