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

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?