Conference on Forest Rights Act 2006 & Draft Forest Policy 2018 for Need of Intellectual Body of Tribal Community
A Report by Advocate Cyril Lakra, Joint Secretary, Rourkela Society for Fast Justice
A conference on Forest Rights Act, 2006 in the light of draft National Forest Policy 2018 was held at German Club, Sector-2 Rourkela on June 26, 2018.
Sri Bidyanath Mishra, President, Sundergarh Society for Fast Justice presided, who in his address discussed about our snail paced justice delivery system that needs to be drastically improved so that the fundamental right of people of India to get timely justice is respected.
Sri Baidyanth Mishra stated that entire Sundergarh district is a tribal populated district as such it has been included in the fifth schedule of the Constitution of India. Forrest Rights Act 2006 recognizes ownership rights of tribal of the forest land under their occupation and also on all non timber minor forest produces etc. He wondered, how without any consultation with the tribal community, Draft National Forest Policy 2018 has been prepared.
Chief Guest Shri Pravin Patel stated about modalities involved in securing the ownership rights as discussed by Shri Mishra who further expressed that despite there are clear rules to be followed in order to grant those ownership rights, there is no seriousness on the part of the forest department who create hindrances in granting those rights particularly on non timber minor forest produces particularly on Tendu Leaves and Bamboo.
He also discussed some of the important aspects of the Draft National Forest Policy 2018 that aims at shifting the focus from Tribal to Timber and allowing entry of the corporate to take in their possession vast areas of forest lands for growing timber etc. He stated that some of the provisions in the draft National Forest Policy 2018 intrude in to the rights of Adivasis that are guaranteed to them under Forest Rights Act 2006 as well as hijacks some of the power of the Gram Sabha that are granted vide Panchayat (Extension to Schedule Areas) Act, 1996. Sri Patel added that he has talked to a number of leading tribal right activists and tribal leaders who showed their ignorance of any such policy to have been framed. Sri Patel appealed to form an intellectual forum of tribal in the districts with which they can work by forming their individual units in the district at three places 1. Rourkela, 2. Rajgangpur and 3. Kutra which will cover entire Sundergarh District and can apply for affiliation with Sundergarh Society for Fast Justice.
Shri Sushil Lakra conducted the program that was also addressed by Sri Bandana Toppo, Jabloon Ekka, Bibul and others. Vote of thanks was given by Sri Cyril Samuel Lakra, Later it has been informed that on July 15, Rourkela Society for Fast Justice has been formed with Sri Dilip Das as the President and Sri Raju Badaik as the Secretary.
Rajgangpur Society for Fast Justice has also been formed on August 3, 2018 with Shri Sushil Lakra as its President and Bibul Toppo as its Secretary.
Both the above units will work under Sundergarh Society for Fast Justice.