With an aim to create a platform for demands by tribal people,city-based National Centre for Advocacy Studies (NCAS) has come up with a manifesto based on tribal issues.
Since the past 62 years,numerous acts and laws have been formulated towards the betterment of tribes in the state. However,the implementation of these laws is unsatisfactory. One of the major reasons behind tribal benefit being neglected is the lack of representation of the tribal population in assembly. And that is exactly the reason we have targeted the assembly polls to come up with this manifesto, said Shirish Kavade,research coordinator,NCAS.
The state has 8.9 per cent contributing to over 85,000 tribals and the manifesto designed by NCAs in collaboration with Sehat Sathi,Shashwat,Econet,BAIF,Shramik Sahayog and National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM) divides the Adivasi demands under issues such as- land,jungle,water,food,health,education,employment and governance. Despite being the sons of the soil tribals cannot claim the ownership of a particular land because of lack of documentation. We have thus demanded that 7X12 forms,rehabilitation,solving the pending court cases related to adivasis and so on. This can help them get water,seeds and enable them to make use of various schemes government runs for farmers, added Lata P M,programme coordinator,NCAS.
The manifesto also demands five acres of land for each homeless adivasi,formation of a local panchayat that can be given the rights to accept or deny the commercial or industrial use of their land,inclusion of womens names on the documents and so on. Besides,application of forest rights to ensure that the traditional resources of the tribes remain intact,water supply systems,priority to local villagers in case of fishery and other allied businesses,limiting the usage of tribal resources for industrial use,provision of basic health facilities are some important demands we have posed, said Kavade.
With ensured education,employment and governance as the concluding part of the manifesto,the demands have been circulated to a over 67 candidates in the state contesting for the assembly polls. This is the first time the issue has been raised from civic organisations and we plan to follow this up even after the elections are over, added Kavade.