Govt Money Meant for Adivasi Development Is Being Used to Support Mining

The Wire | Sanjoy Basu, Neeraj Kumar and Shashi Shekhar | April 16, 2019

The tribal sub-plan fund is being siphoned off in ways that may prove highly dangerous for Adivasi communities.

The tribal sub-plan is a strategy recommended by the Planning Commission and opted by the government of India. It is a fund meant for tribal areas and communities affected by mining.

All ministries are required to contribute a specific part of their budget to the tribal sub-plan. During the last few years, the fund has received hundreds of crores of rupees. But where was the money spent? Read more

States to address tribal forest rights after Lok Sabha elections 2019

The New Indian Express | April 15, 2019

In an interim order on February 13, the Supreme Court had directed 21 states to evict 11.8 lakh illegal forest dwellers whose forest rights claims were rejected by state authorities.

NEW DELHI: After the states missed the 15-day deadline to submit data on the rejection of forest rights claims in March, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has decided to collect phase-wise data, depending on when the Lok Sabha polls conclude in the states.

In an interim order on February 13, the Supreme Court had directed 21 states to evict 11.8 lakh illegal forest dwellers whose forest rights claims were rejected by state authorities. Later, the apex court stayed the order. Read more

How to kill a forest

The Hindu | Soumya Sarkar | April 13, 2019

On a fine morning in the spring of 1974, a small girl ran to Gaura Devi, raising an alarm that loggers had come to cut down trees in the mountain forest. On that day (March 25), there were no men present in the remote village of Reni in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Gaura Devi gathered the women in the village and rushed to confront the contractor.

An argument ensued. The men with axes refused to budge. But the women of Reni were not to be cowed down. In a flash of inspiration, they decided to hug the trees and the loggers had not option but to leave. It was a high point in an epochal environmental movement that resonates even today, at a time when new moves are afoot to separate India’s forests from her people. Read more

Demand to implement FRA gains momentum in Mandi

The Tribune | April 12, 2019

As the nation goes to polls for its 17th Lok Sabha elections, Himachal’s geographically largest constituency Mandi comprising Kinnaur, Bharmour, Lahaul Spiti, Kullu and Mandi districts is witnessing the demand for implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006.

A massive rally was taken out today on this issue under the banner of Van Adhikar Manch, Himachal Pradesh, at the district headquarters Mandi. The office-bearers of the manch alleged that the state government is reluctant to implement Forest Rights Act (FRA) in full spirit. As a result, people of the state have been deprived of their rights under the FRA. Read more

‘The mining lobby tried to suppress our voice’

Down To Earth | April 12, 2019

Chairperson of Tarun Bharat Sangh writes about their fight against illegal mining that started in the 1980s

Our movement against illegal mining started in the 1980s. Our non-profit Tarun Bharat Sangh vigorously took up water conservation works, like pond constructions and river rejuvenation, in different villages of Alwar district of Rajasthan.

There was an incident which changed the course of our movement. In Tilwari village in Sariska Tiger Reserve, we constructed two ponds and tried to revive a few old wells. But to our surprise, water would not seep up through the ground and the ponds and wells ran dry. On the other hand, the mining pits in the village were always flooded and miners had to pump the water out before conducting mining operations every day. It then dawned on us that the hydrology of the area was moving the water to the mining area. Read more

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