TAMIL NADU

“Implement Recognition of Forest Rights Act’’

Wide variety:Millets and traditional products on display at an exhibition organised during the South Zone-level Tribal Meet 2014, in Salem.- PHOTO: P. GOUTHAM

Wide variety:Millets and traditional products on display at an exhibition organised during the South Zone-level Tribal Meet 2014, in Salem.- PHOTO: P. GOUTHAM  

Various tribal associations have demanded that Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 be implemented in Tamil Nadu and parts of South India without further delay. This was one of the resolutions passed during the South Zone-level Tribal Meet 2014 held here on Saturday.

Organised by Tribal Development Programme (TAFSC), Collective for Action of Forest Adivasi in Tamil Nadu (CAFAT) and Tribal Adivasigal Amaipugalin Kootamaippu (TAAK), the meet discussed challenges tribals faced in the State and rights that were denied to them despite suitable laws being in place.

Resolutions included one that said tribal areas in South India should be brought under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.

They said that tribes and forest dwellers who are depending on the forest for their livelihood should not be evicted until the Forest Act 2006 is implemented.

The right of collecting and selling small, minor forest produce should be given to the respective Grama Sabha as per the act, they urged.

Members demanded that the government must immediately grant 10 acre of land to the dependents and two acre to the landless tribal people living in the plains.

Members urged the government to stop allotting forest land for mining purposes as it exploits natural wealth. The government should cancel the lease of lands given to landlords and estate owners, they urged.

Schemes like Modified Area Development Approach (MADA), Integrated Tribal Development Programme (ITDP), Hill Area Development Programme (Tribal Sub-Plans) are implemented only in areas where 50 per cent people live. The schemes should be implemented in all the areas, they demanded.

Other resolutions include administration of educational institutions with tribal people, action against teachers, warden for not attending anganwadi, schools in hill areas, allotment of one parliamentary constituency for tribal people in the State.



Participants at meeting discuss challenges faced by tribal people in the region



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