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Is “settling” forest rights in “campaign mode” a good idea?

The central government is pushing state governments to give forest rights to tribals by the end of this year. Kanchi Kohli cautions that the intent behind settling these rights claims under the Forest Rights Act in such haste is not what it appears to be.

Forests Environment Human Rights

Why do these ghastly stories rarely make news headlines?
Crime and atrocities against Dalits is on rise, while support and justice in these cases are long delayed and the coverage of these crimes is inept, biased or voyeuristic. Pushpa Achanta finds out why media, the fourth pillar of our democracy, is falling short in its duty.
People Justice Media

Wadi: A model for sustainable tribal livelihood
Amongst the various models for sustainable livelihoods being tried and tested in the tribal areas of India, the Wadi model has shown a lot of promise. Abhijeet Mohanty, Kieran Robson and Rosie Clarkson, find out why and how the Wadi model is doing in the tribal areas of Koraput district of Odisha.
Food Security Agriculture

Lessons from tribals on surviving and thriving
An ancient matrilineal tribe of northeast India has a thriving culture and an increasing population, while a similarly ancient Dravidian matrilineal tribe is in danger of vanishing. Linda Chhakchhuak reports on what the Dravidian tribe can learn from the northeastern tribe to revive its culture and population.
Culture Gender Law and Policy Human Rights

Saving forests: Women sentinels of Gunduribadi
The women of Gunduribadi, a small tribal village in Odisha, go out daily for thengapalli or forest patrolling around their village. They are also members of their Forest Protection Committee which decides how to manage the forest and its resources. Sonali Pattnaik spent a day with these sentinels of Gunduribadi to find out how this movement has restored the forest and empowered the villagers.
Forests ORISSA Women

All good, but only on paper
An apparently well-intended plan to help very poor tribes in Madhya Pradesh find sustainable livelihoods bears no relation to the reality of how it is actually implemented. Money is simply distributed and disappears, but things remain unchanged. Susmita Guru reports.
Livelihood Poverty M.P.

Reversing fate through love for land, forests and water
Abhijit Mohanty brings us the story of certain tribal villages in Koraput district of southern Odisha that have successfully overcome the challenges posed by denudation and inadequate irrigation and have etched out a path towards food security and well-being.
Agriculture Forests ORISSA

Securing tribal rights means understanding them first
The recent letter from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, urging states to recognise the habitat rights of vulnerable tribal groups under the FRA, is a welcome move. Meenal Tatpati, Rashi Misra and Subrat Kumar Nayak analyse the Dongria Kondh experience to underline what is necessary to do so effectively.
Livelihood Forests Human Rights

Why the Dongria Kondh rejected development in the Niyamgiri Hills
The 2013 rejection of the bauxite mining plan in Odisha’s Niyamgiri Hills by the local tribal gram sabhas is hailed as the first successful environmental referendum in the country. Meenal Tatpati and Rashi Misra visit the region to find out what led the people to oppose the proposed ‘development’.
Livelihood Forests Mining Human Rights

PROFILE: Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike
Casting out caste crime
Pushpa Achanta describes the unrelenting efforts of the Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike (KDMV) in educating members of the Dalit and Adivasi communities in the state about their legal entitlements and helping them wage battles for justice in cases involving caste atrocity and discrimination.
Justice Caste Human Rights Women

The trail of a disappearing culture
Sunanda Bhat’s award-winning Have You Seen The Arana is deeply relevant in today’s world, as it explores the deep connectedness between man and nature, and the struggle of little-known people to preserve it in the face of many onslaughts. Shoma A Chatterji reviews the film.
Environmental films and books Reviews Culture

A better life through literacy
The broad-based Community Based Functional Literacy Campaign launched by the State Resource Centre of Rayagada, Orissa aims to educate women and drop-out girls in three of the most backward districts of the state. Abhijit Mohanty summarises the key take-aways so far.
Girls' Education Education Government ORISSA

Why the market fails to lure Mali Parbat’s militant environmentalists
The efforts of metals major Hindalco to mine bauxite from Mali Parbat in Odisha has run up against stiff resistance from local Kondh adivasis, who wouldn’t shy away from militancy to protect their ecology, if needed. Javed Iqbal explores why they reject ‘industrial development’.
Mining Displacement Land Human Rights

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From Aug 2013, published with support from Oorvani Foundation, a champion of public-funded media for the new India.

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