Tribals have been residing in forest land for generations, cultivating and collecting forest produce like firewood and fruits. They, however, do not have a legal document showing that they are owners of the land. Ever since the Forest Conservation Act, these tribals have been seen as encroachers or illegal occupants. After the enactment of the Act, these tribals will now have the legal right to own, collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce. This is expected to undo the historical injustice done to forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes who were living at the whims of the forest department, so far. – The Indian Express, 2 January 2008
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“Once, I was walking with this young tribal girl through the forest and we stumbled upon a tuber. She plucked it, cut the eye of the tuber and buried it in the mud before taking it to be cooked. I asked her why she did so and she replied ‘If I don’t put it back, how will it grow again?’ and that moment made me realise how sensitive tribals are towards environment and nature. For them, putting back what they take is inherent in their culture and lifestyle.” – Mari Marcel Thekaekara (writer and Co-Founder of ACCORD-Nilgiris) | Learn more >>
- Adivasi (Adibasi) | Classifications in different states | Scheduled Tribes
- Constitution and Supreme Court
- Ecology and environment
- Economy and development
- Endangered language
- Environment minister’s call for a change in the colonial outlook: “Forests, tribal forest dwellers and life forms living in forests complement one another and are not rivals”
- Fact checking | Who are Scheduled Tribes?
- Forest dwellers in early India – myths and ecology in historical perspective
- Forest Rights Act (FRA) | Legal rights over forest land
- Gandhian social movement
- Government of India
- India’s Constitutional obligation to respect their cultural traditions
- Ministry of Tribal Affairs – Times of India
- Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG)
- Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Survival International
- What is the Forest Rights Act about?
Who is a forest dweller under this law, and who gets rights?