Archive for December, 2008
National Forest Rights (Implementation) Campaign
[National Forum of Forest Peoples and Forest Workers (NFFPFW)& constituent mass organisations]
Press Release 19-12-2008
Forest Rights Assembly and Public Meeting concludes in front of Parliament
People vow to defeat political parties, if Forest Rights Act not implemented effectively
- Thousands reaffirm resolve to struggle;
- Adivasi, Dalit Aam Sabha (assembly) calls for people’s caution against political misuse;
- State Elections reflect the victory of parties who are implementing FRA;
- Left leaders to support demand for amendments in the Act;
- Adivasi and Dalit Forest Dwellers from eight states participate in the Rally and Assembly;
A People’s Assembly was organised with adivasi and dalit forest dwellers from eight central Indian states, by the National Forest Rights (Implementation) Campaign, on the 18th December 2008 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. More than 400 forest dwellers from Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal and Bihar participated in the People’s Assembly (Aam Sabha).
The assembly was organised after the successful rally of forest workers in front of Indian Parliament on the 17th December 2008. The rally was attended by more than 3500 Adivasis and Dalits from the central and northern Indian states. People from forest regions including Lakhimpur Khiri, Sonbhadra (Kaimur), Raipur, Mahasamund, different regions of Jharkhand, Rewa, Manikpur, Saharanpur, Dehradun, Badwani, etc were joined by supporters of the struggle from Delhi.
Political leaders from the left parties including Com. D Raja, MP and National Secretary of the Communist Party of India and Com. Abani Roy, MP of the Revolutionary Socialist Party joined the rally and addressed people. They extended their support to the continuing struggle of the forest people and workers for rights over land, forest and other natural resources. Opposing the misuse of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act, 2006, the leaders demanded effective and pro-people implementation of the Act in all the states.
Leaders from NFFPFW from several states, including Munnilal, Gautam Bandopadhyay, Pushpa Toppo, Manju Gardia, Braj Kishore Chourasia, Sanjay Basu Mullick, Roma, Ajeet Ekka, Haneef, etc also addressed the gathering at Parliament Street Police station. Addressing the rally, Ashok Choudhary, national leader of the NFFPFW and convener of the National Forest Rights (Implementation) Campaign warned the Central and state Governments against the misuse and violations of the Act by Forest Department officials and state bureaucracy. Roma, leader of NFFPFW Kaimur region stated that people will be forced to take over land, if the states fail to implement the FRA.
The Assembly discussed the achievement of the FRA and its implementational issues and submitted memorandum to the Prime Minister, including demands for pro-people amendments in the 2006 Forest Rights Act. Copies of the memorandum was submitted also to Lok Sabha Speaker, Minister for Tribal Affairs and Minister for Social Justice & empowerment. Along with effective implementation of the Act, other demands included;
- Traditional and community forest governance systems to be brought back
- Immediate stop to evictions in the national parks and sanctuaries by the Forest Department and police
- Community rights over minor forest produce
- Stopping commercial and profit motivated use of forest resources
- Representation of all forest dwelling communities in the Forest Right Committees at the village level
- Reaching education, health facilities and water and other infrastructural progress to the forest communities
- Conversion of Taungiya and other forest villages into revenue villages
- Representation of people’s organisations working with forest communities in thhe state level monitoring committees and district level committees constituted under FRA
- Social security to the unorganised sector workers including forest dwellers/workers
- Allot government land to landless people, especially the landless workers belonging to the poorest sections
- Forest communities like the Van Gujjars to be protected against all forms of evictions from National Parks and Sancturies
- Remove the unfair provision of other forest communities having to prove three generational documentary evidence of traditional rights and make the provision similar for al forest communities
On Behalf of National Forest Rights (Implementation) Campaign:
National Forum of Forest Peoples and Forest Workers (NFFPFW), Birsa Munda Bhoomi Adhikar Manch, Nadi Ghatti Morcha, Jharkhand Jungle Bachao Andolan, Nava Chhattisgarh Mahila Sanghattan, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM-Delhi), Delhi Solidarity Group and others
(986821(9868217276, 9868857723, 26680914/ 26687724 – Fax)
C/o F-10/12, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi – 110017
The Forest Rights Act has been passed by the Indian Parliamnet in 2006. But the implimentation and awarness process about this Act is being followed by the few State Governments of India.
This is the Historical Act which can empower our marginalized, dalit and adivasi communities if it is implemented in a better way as per the rules. This is the time when we can support them in their struggle so that they can get their rights on natural resources.
More than 2500 people form various states are here to present their demands under the banner of National Forest Right (Implimentation) Campaign. The demands are attached with the mail (in hindi).
Therefore we call upon you to join the mass rally on 17 December 2008 and for the People’s Assembly ( Jan Sabha) on 18 December 2008.
17 December 2008 rally from Mandi House (in front of JNU city centre) to Jantar Mantar and thereafter the public meeting.
The rally will begin at 11 am and the public meeting will start by 1 pm at Jantar Mantar.
18 December 2008 People’s Assembly (Jan sabha) will begin at 10.30 am at Jantar Mantar.
NB: Only 300-400 (representatives from forest areas) people will be attending the People’s assembly.
For more details contact – Bipin Rai (9999046469), Jibin R (9899967964), Vijayan MJ(9868165471)
Detox India- in memory and solidarity with Bhopal
2nd December 1984 midnight, the people and streets of Bhopal were struck by Union Carbide’s poisonous gas. From victims, pain and sorrow to memory, survival and struggle the journey has been long and there are many stories to tell. Let’s share the solidarity, the movement, the victories, the hopes and the ways forward, so that we can remember what has been and cherish what we have together in struggle achieved.
We invite you to volunteer to sing, to dance, to read poetry, to paint, to act, to exhibit photographs, film reels, articles….
….if you’ve been to the site of the tragedy, if you’ve not;
…. if you’ve been at dharnas, if you’ve not;
….if you’ve thought or pondering but not ever expressed;
…to share your own story that reflects your support to the Bhopalis & to be part of this celebration.
It’s often said that there are many other Bhopals simmering around.
We invite you to share voices and images from other parts of the country as well.
Remember to bring an effigy or symbol of something that you consider a toxic for India.
Be it pesticides or plastics, toxic toys or pictures of people burning with hate for humanity.
Anything inflammable but not explosive!
On this 2 Dec 2008 at 3pm, Jantar Mantar
We hope to exhibit these different expressions and knit them together to strengthen our collective struggles while marking one that’s close to 25 years!
Let us resolve to Detox India!!
Do circulate the invite far and wide; bring your friends, family, colleagues to the event. Let’s make it happen together!
Shalini (9891442037), Bipin (09868280198) & Aanchal (9810191719)