Written specially for Vikalp Sangam
Please see attached photos and proceedings of a district level gathering of gram sabhas in Gadchiroli on the 16th of December 2015. Given below are some main points (translated).
Title: The only way ahead now is effective implementation of FRA and PESA and recognition of village self rule through the gram sabha
1. This was a historic gathering of gram sabha members from across the district coming together for effective implementation of FRA and PESA
2. The gathering criticised the oppressive force used by the Police in trying to prevent gram sabha members to come for this gathering.
3. Despite police oppression 295 gram sabha members representing 9 talukas of the district were part of the gathering. More than 300 others were prevented by the Police from attending.
4. People’s representatives, government line agency staff, frontline staff of various government agencies, among others were also part of the gathering
5. Following were among the many resolutions passed by this gathering of gram sabhas from the district:
– In order to prevent economic deprivation of the gram sabhas in the district and robbery of their resources, minimum sale price for Bamboo and other NTFP was collectively decided upon. All gram sabhas will have a right to ask for prices higher than this minimum rate.
– District administration has failed to support gram sabhas in filing forest rights claims. A demand was made to clear all the claims pending at the SDLC and DLC levels.
– Demanded that the Village Forest Rules of Maharashtra are cancelled
– Demanded that leases and permissions for all processes causing destruction of forests such as mining in the district are cancelled
– Demanded that tribals are recognised to be the original (indigenous) inhabitants