India passed a law called Forest Rights Act in 2006 which gives land rights to all Adivasis ( Indigenous people) who worked on their land till 12th Dec 2005 and before. They called it correcting a historic injustice made to India’s Indigenous people
None of these Indigenous people living in Andhra Pradesh ( now also another state called Telangana after bifurcation) have been able to apply for Forest Right Act because they have not been able to be back in their villages in last 15 years. These Internally Displaced People live a life worse than almost any.
This morning forest officers visited the village of Rasanagudem at Mulkulapalli block of Bhadradri Kotadudem district in Telangana and asked all the 25 IDP families to go back to Chhattisgarh
Last month similar officers had come with police and they broke 58 houses of IDPs and gave similar messages. We hear these visits are going to increase in months to come
We propose to work with District Administrations in Chhattisgarh to get these people land deeds for their land in Chhattisgarh which they left after 2005. Many can not go back to their original villages as they are still under control of Maoists and they do not want to risk their lives. District Administration off the record looks happy to give them land in exchange on road sides if they want and can also help them go back to their villages.
In first 3 months we want to do survey of these people who are in 286 settlements in deep forest between states. In next 3 months we want to get their applications for FRA sorted with the help of District Administration. We plan to build Gandhi 150 rehabilitation villages for people who don’t want to go back to their original villages and develop them as hub for processing forest based products for self employment.
We will also develop a Mobile phone based communication platform for these people in their language called Gondi on which they can keep in touch and help each other for Peace in area