Forest Rights Rally and mass Education programme in Adhoura, Kaimur, Bihar
11-12 October 2012
Ø More than 5000 tribal, dalit and other forest dwellers did a historical rally in Adhoura Block of Kaimur district Bihar jointly by Kaimur Mukti Morcha (Jan Mukti Andolan) and National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW).
Ø The two day programme was to mark the honor to the departed leader Dr. Vinyan who dedicated his life in Kaimur region to build up the forest rights movement. The programme was organized to start extensive programme to implement the Forest Rights Act 2006 in the difficult terrain of Kaimur region of Bihar.
Ø There is complete lack of political will of Bihar Government to implement this Act that talks of mitigating the “historical injustices” inflicted on the forest people since the colonial days.
Ø Adhoura, Kaimur region of Bihar is a very backward and lacks basic minimum facilities though getting huge funds for development to adress the issue of Maoism in the area.
Ø Thousands of people from Kaimur region of Bihar, UP, Jharkhand and other parts of Bihar, UP, MP, Chattisgarh, started assembling in Adhoura since 10th october.
Ø Large numbers of women were present in the meeting. On 11 October 2012 a massive rally was taken out in Adhoura to warn the officials and Govt. of Bihar to take stern action to implement the FRA in its true spirits.
Ø The Forest Dept office, Block office and Police Station of Adhoura were gheraoed for not implementing the Act properly and against increasing atrocities on tribal and dalit people by feudals, forest department and Police.
Ø All departments in Adhoura were shocked to see the spirit of tribal people and admitted that the Act has not implemented not at all in this very backward region.
Ø On 12th October 2012 a mass education programme was undertaken on FRA by the leaders of NFFPFW, where BDO and Station officer were invited along with the Director of Van Vasi Ashram, Sh. Sadanand Rai. They admitted that never before such a big rally and conference has been organized and felt very happy that tribal in large numbers are getting aware regarding their rights.
Ø BDO admitted that all the village level forest rights committees were not formed according to the rules and agreed to form them again comprising of tribal and forest people only. Station officer also said that in entire kaimur region main source of livelihood of tribal is forest and their rights have to be recognized. He said this is a civil law where police cannot interfere but indirectly various issues are related to such civil law that needs to be taken care of otherwise there will be rise in militancy. Both the officials assured that they will personally meet with DM and SP and ensure the implementation of FRA.
Ø Vanvasi Ashram Director Sadananand Rai agreed to create an infrastructure to build up cooperative on the forest produce in the institute itself in association with NFFPFW as the amended rules gives direct control of forest produce to Gram sabha.
Ø A set of memorandum of 20 demands were presented to both BDO and SO by Kaimur Mukti Morcha Women members Kamla devi and Prema Devi. It was agreed between officials and the people’s organization that the formation of new forest rights committees to start from first of November with the active support of Kaimur Mukti Morcha and NFFPFW. These committees will be formed in 104 villages of Adhoura Block and later will be formed in Rohtas Block too. After the FRC’s have been formed the training of all the FRC’s will be conducted in Block office to start filing both individual and community forest rights claim and as well as start the process of building the producer cooperatives so that the middlemen, forest department and other vested interests are eliminated. Many organizations will be involved to strengthen the process of building up of the cooperative that will involve NFFPFW, Kaimur Mukti Morcha, Vanvasi Kendra and independent trade union New Trade Union Initiative (Patna, Bihar).
NATIONAL FORUM OF FOREST PEOPLE AND FOREST WORKERS, (N.F.F.P.F.W.)
Near Homeguard Commandant Office