Why the Dangs has not been able to implement FRA properly -Kankana Trivedi
-Down to Earth
The ‘real owner’ of forest land is still the forest department. Such brazen violation of the law betrays a systematic attempt to implement FRA, reducing it to a symbol rather than a tool of empowerment
The Dangs, the smallest district in Gujarat, is a thickly forested and tribal-dominated region that has been away from the ‘developmental’ paradigm till today.
Some 77.5 per cent of its area is under forest cover, according to the State of Forest Report by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It is home to tribal communities like the Bhils, Warlis, Kunbis, Kotwalias and Kolchas, collectively known as ‘Dangis’.
These groups still live off resources in and around the forest, performing activities like farming, housing, fishing and non-timber forest produce. There are many villages (majorly from the Subir block) with abysmal living and financial conditions. These witness seasonal migration to sugarcane plantations and vineyards in the Surat and Nashik districts respectively.
There have been attempts to ‘settle’ the rights of Adivasis. This was first done in 1969-70, when the First Survey Settlement was conducted by the revenue department in the Dangs. Some 12,000 individuals were given ownership rights in protected forest areas across the district.
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Down to Earth, 27 January, 2021, https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/forests/why-the-dangs-has-not-been-able-to-implement-fra-properly-75226?fbclid=IwAR3Xqqi2sywMhC2HBYDrM6CCcHV0UQCuQ7NlJ4f_3MXVtJBanOQC4RvGxrU