Home Adivasis Tribals in Maharashtra agitate for implementation of welfare schemes

Tribals in Maharashtra agitate for implementation of welfare schemes

By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

Mumbai: Number of tribals from Nandurbar, Jalgaon and Dhule districts agitated under the banner of ‘Lok Sangarsh Morcha’ before the tribal development commissionerate in Nashik city demanding better implementation of Forest Rights Act and improved infrastructure in areas inhabited by them.

The tribals initially gathered on Nashik Road and marched towards the revenue commissioner’s office, where a memorandum of demands was presented to A G Abhang, the deputy commissioner, general administration department, Nashik revenue office. The rally then moved on to the tribal development commissionerate from the office of revenue commissioner on Nashik Road.

Photos for representation purpose

The tribals, who had staged an agitation at the Nashik Revenue Commissionerate on Wednesday, were assured by the commissioner of visiting the districts soon to take decision on the issues and The tribals had then led a march to the tribal development commissionerate, 9 km away from the revenue office and were not allowing any person to enter or come out of the office till late yesterday night.

“The officers were not allowed to leave the office till 11.45 pm. The protesters had stay put on the Old Agra Road passing through the city outside the office,” said Rakesh Patil, one of the employees of tribal development commissionerate (TDC) said on Thursday. “We did not expect this agitation for the second day as there were some discussions on Wednesday,” said Sanjay Shinde, another employee said.

As the office opened on Thursday, the employees and officers were let in by the tribals, who had dispersed in the early hours of the day only to gather at the office around 11.00 am. They again blocked the road as their leaders took charge of the TDC office.

The protesters were aggrieved with the implementation of Forest Rights Act which was even though formulated in 2006 but its actual execution began in 2009 due to which the ground reality has not changed to a great extent.

Bowing to the demands, the administration pledged that a four-member committee headed by the additional tribal commissioner with a non-government member will inquire into issues of corruption and special measures will be taken for raising awareness on the Forest Rights Act and giving work to self help groups.

“The administration and leaders of the Lok Sangharsh Morcha have jointly agreed to formation of a committee to look into issues of corruption. Besides, the administration pledged to take measures for the tribals’ benefit,” a senior official in the tribal development commissionerate (TDC) said.

The protesters called off the agitation after the assurances were provided to them.

Ashok Damu Padvi of Atwani, who participated in the protest, said that as per the Forest Rights Act the tribals were supposed to get land in the forest areas. “Though the beneficiaries were found eligible at the Gram Sabha level, many were still fighting for their rights,” Padvi said, adding that they wanted 7/12 extracts of the land for all those identified as the eligible beneficiaries and immediate implementation of the welfare schemes.