Tourism industry “roaring business” in tribal areas recognized by the Forest Rights Act

The Times of India, 5 June 2012,

NEW DELHI: There is perhaps nothing as beautiful as watching a tiger in the wild. And arguably, there is nothing as dangerous as living with tigers in your backyard.

But ask the forest dweller who had to abandon his home and way of life to make way for the tiger reserve. Tribal communities and forest dwellers in almost all villages dotting India’s tiger reserves have learnt that the threat to their lives doesn’t arise so much from the tigers. […]

For decades it was rather easy for planners and ‘official’ conservationists to simply order that tribal communities be dispossessed of their home turfs. But that did not happen on the ground. Forest dwellers mostly remained where they were -and were labelled ‘encroachers’ in government records. Changes in politics, aided by energetic activism, ensured that the rights of the forest dwellers were recognised under the Forest Rights Act passed in 2006. Despite that, things have hardly changed in tiger land, or for that matter in any area where an animal loved by conservationists survives. […]

But recent reports from across the country suggest that life for the forest dweller is stuck in a timewarp. An internal report of Sariska Tiger Reserve points to funds meant for relocation being misused and forest communities being offered shoddy alternatives. […]

The tourism industry is doing roaring business from areas that were once the forest people’s home.

Source: No roaring approval in tiger country – Times Of India
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Date Visited: Mon Jun 11 2012 18:10:07 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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