Karnataka 2018

Tribal activists release ‘people’s manifesto’ ahead of elections

On tribal development, the activists have demanded proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act.   | Photo Credit: File Photo

While political parties are fine-tuning their “people-centric election manifestos” — most of which tend to be forgotten once the results are announced — a few tribal activists from Hunsur have released their own set of demands for submission to the candidates.

The so-called “people’s manifesto” pertains to Hunsur Assembly constituency, which has a significant presence of tribals, a majority of whom are still not enjoying the fruits of development.

The wish list includes declaration of Hunsur sub-division as a district to allow for a more focussed approach to taking up development works unique to the region.

S. Sreekanth of Development Through Education (DEED), an NGO working to uplift tribals, said the people’s manifesto is a blend of environment, conservation and development needs. He said the lopsided and “ecologically destructive” programmes pursued all these years have affected the tribal community most, and hence the manifesto underlines the need for an ecological approach to development.

Though it lists out issues specific to the tribal community, the people’s manifesto takes a broad look at the requirements of Hunsur town as well. Cleaning of the polluted Lakshmanthirtha river has been accorded prime importance as it is the lifeline of the people of Hunsur. DEED also wants a massive afforestation programme along the river banks, creation of check-dams, and a rainwater harvesting system to complement farming activities. It also wants rejuvenation of 40 waterbodies in the region.

On tribal development, the demands pertain to implementation of the Forest Rights Act so as to give adivasis access to minor forest produce. DEED has also sought rehabilitation of more than 3,400 families under the Union government’s package, under which each family is entitled to ₹15 lakh as compensation apart from land to take up agricultural activities.

Focus on tribal education, improvements to ashram schools, appointment of qualified teachers, commitment of ₹1,000 crore to development works to uplift adivasis, housing for nearly 20,000 tribals, and constitution of a Forest Dependent Tribes Development Board are the other demands in the manifesto. It will be circulated among all the political parties campaigning in the region and promises extracted to fulfil the demands, Mr. Sreekanth said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 7:33:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/karnataka-2018/tribal-activists-release-peoples-manifesto-ahead-of-elections/article23517114.ece

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