Category Archives: Forest Rights Act (FRA)

“[I]t is unimaginable to think of tribes as landless, as land and forest have been traditionally their life support system.” – Virginius Xaxa, excerpt from Being Adivasi (Penguin Books India)
https://scroll.in/article/1014436/being-adivasi-autonomous-existence-or-integration-nehru-had-proposed-a-third-way
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=27829

“Our forests are ours again. In 2006, the government finally accepted the historical injustice meted out to Adivasis and passed the Forest Rights Act thus recognizing our rights to forests.” – Adivasi Munnetra Sangam (photo caption, 2017 calendar)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21811

“Though it is commonly called, the ‘Forest Rights Act’, the actual name is the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. […] Through this act, there are three major rights on forests to be transferred to the forest-dwelling tribal people [including] Title for Forest Land Under Occupation, right of ownership, access to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce, [i.e.] all non-timber produce of plant origin, including bamboo, brush wood, stumps, cane, tussar, cocoons, honey, wax, lac, tendu or kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tubers.” – Azim Premji University Team, Initiative for Effective Implementation of FRA
https://practiceconnect.azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in/the-implementation-of-forest-rights-act-towards-an-informed-collective-action-by-stakeholders/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10087

“The Community Forest Resource (CFR) rights provisions of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (also known as the FRA) is a revolutionary tool in forest governance. […] It further has the potential to bring about a transformative change in the economic and social conditions of the local people, and improve the management of the forests.” – Project description titled “Action Research and Policy Support on Community Forest Resource management in Central India” by Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)
https://www.atree.org/projects/action-research-and-policy-support-community-forest-resource-management-central-india
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10151

“The Act makes concrete provisions to allow adivasis to enter the forest and continue using forest produce, on which they have depended for generations [like] the basket that was once woven in bamboo that was collected from the forest is now being replaced by plastic ones bought from the market.” – Priyashri Mani in “Home is where the forest is”, illustrated story for Accord (Gudalur)
https://cultureandconservation.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/home-is-where-the-forest-is/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=12436

“There are indigenous people who have lived in the forests for a long time. […] They should be models for sustainability in the future. Indigenous people can show us what forest products to use and how to use them properly. They deserve to continue their ways of life.” – Manoj Kumar Hazarika in “Deforestation in Garo Hills and its impact”, The Echo: An Online Journal of Humanities & Social Science, Volume I, Issue IV, April 2013 (Karimganj College, Assam)
https://www.thecho.in/files/Deforestation-in-Garo-Hills-and-its-impact.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=14246

“The Forest Rights Act, 2006, though is laudable in its intent but it only furthers the same isolationist policy.” – Indian Police Service (IPS) officer M Nageswara Rao in “Scheduled Tribes: Who are they? How to mainstream them?” (Times of India, 16 May 2020)
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/voices/scheduled-tribes-who-are-they-how-to-mainstream-them/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10151

“Forest Law and monopolization of forest wealth severely restricted the availability of forest for fulfilling their needs. Commercialization and exploitation displaced the tribals from the tracts they had been occupying for generations. Traders, money lenders and revenue farmers took advantage of British land settlement policies to exploit the simple-minded people. The forest produce became a source of government revenue. Not able to comprehend the government policies, the tribal people saw the penetration of “outsiders” into their territories as threat to their survival and a series of spontaneous uprisings occurred at various places in the country.” – Subha Johari in “Tribal Dissatisfaction Under Colonial Economy of 19th Century”
http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1040271311
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11961

“[We need] a change in the colonial outlook that has existed from the pre-Independence period towards forests, tribal forest dwellers and life forms living in forests.” – Minister Anil Madhav Dave while inaugurating a conference; quoted in “Forests, tribals and wildlife are not rivals, says environment minister” (Down To Earth,  21 October 2016)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21343

“Protecting forests is often a deadly risk for indigenous peoples and local communities.” – Forest Peoples Programme
https://www.forestpeoples.org/en/about
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6023

“Legal protections for Adivasis were never very strong in India; since colonial times, officially designated forest lands—which cover no less than a fifth of the country’s surface area—have formed an internal ‘state of exception’ where the normal functioning of the laws of the land are suspended. This realm is controlled by the Forest Department (an immense bureaucracy with vast powers) and an army of forest guards that functions like a paramilitary force.” – Amitav Ghosh in The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis (book excerpt in The Print, 14 October 2021)
https://theprint.in/pageturner/excerpt/congress-left-bjp-india-striving-to-remake-itself-as-settler-colonialist-amitav-ghosh/750429/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=44650

“Some 150 years ago, the first Indian Forest Act in 1865, promulgated by the British government, had usurped the traditional ownership and management power of forest-dwelling communities. […] In a country which boasts of one of the top 10 forest covers in the world, it is ironic that the forest departments and the Union government have not followed its own law for over 90 years.” – Ishan Kukreti in “Inside ad hoc forests: Government failure, both at the Centre and the states, is hurting communities and forests alike” (Down To Earth, 18 January 2021)
https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/forests/inside-ad-hoc-forests-75051
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10151

“The British established mode of forest governance imposed restrictions on local forest-dwelling communities. In 1860, the Company withdrew all access rights for using the forests (food, fuel, medicine and selling forest products) since the forests and forest-dwelling communities provided refuge to the rebels during the Sepoy Mutiny.” – Research team (Sayantani Satpathi, Shambhavi Singh & Subhodeep Basu) in “Revisiting the Forest Rights Act: Status of Implementation with respect to Land Tenures and Collection of Minor Forest Produce), Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (New Delhi, 12 July 2019), p. 4
https://www.academia.edu/41756309
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=14402

“The passage of the Scheduled Tribes and other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (2006), recognizing both the individual and community rights over forest and forest resources is an attempt to redress the “historical injustice” meted out to [200 million] tribals and OTFDs [other forest dwelling communities].” – Research team (Sayantani Satpathi, Shambhavi Singh & Subhodeep Basu) in “Revisiting the Forest Rights Act: Status of Implementation with respect to Land Tenures and Collection of Minor Forest Produce), Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (New Delhi, 12 July 2019)
https://www.academia.edu/41756309
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10151

“Under the [FRA] law, forest dwellers can apply to state governments for either individual or community forest rights – which means they can take ownership of the process of protecting and conserving forests in their areas. They can also gather and sell minor forest produce such as tendu leaves or bamboo, which was an illegal activity before the law was enacted. However, states have not been particularly proactive about implementing these rights. [E]ven as Maharashtra is foremost in implementing community forest rights, it is also slowly attempting to reverse this with new forms of forest management.” – Mridula Chari in (Scroll.in, 9 July 2017)
https://scroll.in/article/843046/ten-years-of-forest-rights-act-maharashtra-tops-in-implementation-but-credit-goes-to-one-district
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23920

“There are three important stakeholders on whom rests the successful implementation of the Act [Forest Rights Act (2006)]. Apart from this an institutional framework has been created at different levels of checks and balances, management and redressed structures from the village to the state level. This involves the Forest Rights Committee at the village level, the Sub-Divisional and District level Committees and a final appellate authority of the State Level Monitoring Committee.” – Rebecca S . David in “An analysis of the impact of the Forest Rights Act (2006) in three states of India” (MPhil University of Cambridge, UK, 2014), p. 1
https://www.academia.edu/30648733/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=28027

“[I]ncome security of tribal peoples has been adversely affected by losses and access to productive resources (rights to forest or agricultural lands coupled with poor compensation).” – Programme report on Tribal nutrition: “UNICEF’s efforts to support the tribal population, especially children who suffer from malnourishment”
https://www.unicef.org/india/what-we-do/tribal-nutrition
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11674

“Though the institution of Forest Rights Act is a policy action on the part of governments, local mobilisation among Tribal population, and non-governmental organisations have played an important role in its effective implementation. This area [the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra] has witnessed different forms of social mobilization under leaders coming from tribal communities.” – V. Santhakumar (Azim Premji University in “It is possible to have a better life for Scheduled Tribes in India!”, 4 May 2018)
https://vsanthakumar.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/it-is-possible-to-have-a-better-life-for-scheduled-tribes-in-india/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=24803

“The forests were ‘wastelands’ that needed to be tamed, settled and developed. […] It did not matter that ancient tribal peoples were living here for centuries, neither that they were physically and spiritually sustained by these forests.” – Pankaj Sekhsaria in Islands in Flux: The Andaman and Nicobar Story (Harper Litmus, 2017), pp. 4-5
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10151

Video | Health and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets: “The tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious”

Excerpt from “Rage Of A Silent, Invisible Killer Called Malnutrition – Why Shining India Is In Grip Of An Epic Calamity” by Damayanti Datta | Read the full article >>Despite designing the world’s earliest and largest schemes on hunger and … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Biodiversity, Commentary, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, Misconceptions, Modernity, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Tips, Video resources - external | Comments Off on Video | Health and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets: “The tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious”

Audio | Birsa Munda (1875-1900), the young, charismatic healer: “The only Adivasi whose portrait hangs in the Indian Parliament”

Prof. Sunil Khilnani profiles Birsa Munda, the young, charismatic healer who led his tribal community in revolt against the British and whose life, more than a century after his death, poses the question: ‘Who owns India?’ | Listen to the … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Audio resources - external, Colonial policies, Democracy, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, History, Media portrayal, Names and communities, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling | Tagged | Comments Off on Audio | Birsa Munda (1875-1900), the young, charismatic healer: “The only Adivasi whose portrait hangs in the Indian Parliament”

“We have to write our own stories, about our issues, from our own perspectives”: Remembering Abhay Xaxa, a Fiercely Unapologetic Adivasi Scholar-Activist – Chhattisgarh & Jharkhand

Read the full obituary by Mahtab Alam in TheWire (10 April 2020) >> A champion for Adivasi rights, Xaxa played an active part in anti-displacement movements in central India. […] Xaxa passed away because of a heart attack. A native … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Colonial policies, Commentary, Democracy, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Education and literacy, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, Film, Forest Rights Act (FRA), History, Misconceptions, Modernity, Networking, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling | Comments Off on “We have to write our own stories, about our issues, from our own perspectives”: Remembering Abhay Xaxa, a Fiercely Unapologetic Adivasi Scholar-Activist – Chhattisgarh & Jharkhand

Forest dwellers in early India – myths and ecology in historical perspective

By Romila Thapar, Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University  The hunt introduces us to the forest dwellers. These tended to be either creatures of the imagination such as the raksasas who are abundant, or else humans with supernatural faculties. Raksasas have … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Bees and honey, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, eBook eJournal ePaper, Ecology and environment, Elephant, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), History, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Quotes, Resources, Sacred grove, Seasons and festivals, Storytelling, Trees, Tribal culture worldwide, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Forest dwellers in early India – myths and ecology in historical perspective

Planting char, mahuli, and bamboo to regenerate forests: Conservation efforts by the Baiga tribal community – Madhya Pradesh

3. The Baiga have restored over 600 acres of forest around just one village In the village of Dhaba in central India, Baiga tribal villagers became concerned that the local forest department were cutting down too many trees, supposedly to … Continue reading

Posted in Central region – Central Zonal Council, Community facilities, Customs, Dress and ornaments, Ecology and environment, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Globalization, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Success story, Tiger, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Planting char, mahuli, and bamboo to regenerate forests: Conservation efforts by the Baiga tribal community – Madhya Pradesh