Tribals demand implementation of Forest Rights Act

Tribals dancing during the 141st birth anniversary celebrations of tribal leader Birsa Munda Jayanti in Mysuru on Sunday.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM  

The 141st birth anniversary of Birsa Munda, a 19th century tribal leader from the Chota Nagpur region who fought for tribal rights against the British, was celebrated in Mysuru and Hunsur on Sunday.

He is an inspiration for local tribal leaders for their ongoing struggle to secure what they describe as their “birth right” over natural forest produce and traditional way of life, which is under threat due to curbs on their movement in national parks and wildlife sanctuary.

The programme at Mysuru was conducted by the Karnataka Moola Adivasigala Rakshana Vedike and Jana Sangrama Parishat and inaugurated by JSP State president Raghavendra.

The organisers summed up the general perception among tribals that the exploitation that was rampant during the British regime continues in the present times, with the community deprived of their basic rights and lacking in education and basic amenities. The JSP passed a resolution urging the government to withdraw the cases filed against tribals and clear the encroachments of their burial grounds, besides implementing the Forest Rights Act.

The celebrations at Hunsur were held on the Development through Education (DEED) premises and were launched by tribal leader Bharatwadi Sannaiah. Tribal rights activist S. Sreekanth of DEED described Birsa Munda as a hero who has inspired generations of tribal communities in their relentless fight for forest rights

. He narrated the history of the tribal legend who is also referred to as ‘Bhagavan Birsa Munda’ among the tribal community in Jharkhand and surrounding regions.

He pointed out that the State was celebrating the birth centenary year of the late Chief Minister D. Devaraj Urs and had launched social welfare programmes for uplifting the backward class groups.

But the tribal communities were yet to benefit from them, said Mr. Sreekanth.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 7:29:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/tribals-demand-implementation-of-forest-rights-act/article7882088.ece

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