Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tribals demand right to livelihood ( Courtesy The Hindu :Date:27/11/2006 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2006/11/27/stories/2006112712990500.htm )
Staff Correspondent
Restrictions imposed by tiger reserve
BHOPAL: The Tribals from the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh have started a Satyagraha (peaceful agitation) to draw the attention of the State Government and society towards the "threat to the livelihood of tribal communities" due to restrictions imposed by the Satpura Tiger Reserve.
The protest, under the banner of the "Kisan Adivasi Sangathan" and "Samajwadi Jan Parishad" was launched this past Friday with a group of about 150 tribal men and women from various tribal and other villages gathering at Sethani Ghat on Narmada river at Hohangabad and marching to the office of the Director Satpura Tiger Reserve. The tribals presented a memorandum of demands and sat on a dharna outside the Tiger Reserve office.
The tribals have decided to continue their agitation for a month by sitting on a protest dharna outside the office of the Director, Satpura Tiger Reserve.
Each day an eminent person is scheduled to join the protest, according to a Kisan Adivasi Sangathan- Samajwadi Jan Parishad statement.
The Satpura Tiger Reserve has been formed by combining Satpura National Park, Bori Sanctuary and Pachmari Sanctuary. This area includes 75 tribal villages.
Almost an equal number of villages lie on the boundary of this Reserve and the people living in these villages depend on forest and the Bori reservoir for their livelihood. The restrictions imposed on farming, forest produce collection and other activities, including fishing in the Bori reservoir is threatening the survival of the tribals, according to the Kisan Adivasi Sangathan.
It is being pointed out that the tribals from 44 villages who were resettled due to the construction of the Tawa dam 33 years ago are once again facing the danger of getting displaced. The Fishermen's Cooperative which has been operating in this area was also facing the threat of closure.
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