28, Mar 2022 | CJP Team
On the occasion of Shaheed Diwas or Martyr’s Day, that honours revolutionary freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) achieved yet another milestone in our forest rights programme. They have helped people from nine villages in the Dudhi region of Sonbhadra district file community claims under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006.
We had previously accomplished a similar milestone exactly one year ago when AIUFWP and CJP had helped people from eight villages of Chitrakoot district file community land claims in March 2021. This time, we helped the villagers, led by local grassroots women leaders, put together all documents necessary to file for nine villages, namely – Birsanagar-Majouli, Devnagar-Kadal, Bharatinagar-Sardeeha, Dhooma-Gohada, Sapahawa-Gohada, Karcha-Madhuvan, Shivpur-Murta, Leelasi, and Ghatipindari-Dumhan.
Among its four pillars of action, the land and livelihood rights of Adivasis and traditional forest dwellers, is one. CJP, with its expertise in navigating cases of human rights violations in the courts and beyond has been active on the issue; partnering with the All India Union of Forest Working Peoples (AIUFWP) since 2017 to battle any setback to these rights in the courts. This includes legally fighting back against malicious prosecution of leaders of the community and defending the Forest Rights Act, 2006 in the Supreme Court. We stand with the millions of Forest Dwellers and Adivasis whose lives and livelihoods are threatened. Please support our efforts by donating here.
The detailed process of filing claims, overcoming the tedious hurdles, meeting the required provisions of the emancipatory Forest Rights Act, (FRA 2006) provided by the on-ground forest rights activists may be read here.
Filling out forms, giving details of the exact amount of land to which the claim is being made, providing the government authorities proper identification documents as proof, attaching maps, list of herbs (locally called jadi-booti) in the region, list of names of all claimants, relevant signatures of officials, etc. is a painstakingly long process for communities and activists, who continue to struggle for resources that are their own. To comprehend how complicated the procedure is, take a look at this presentation that explains it.
Here are some pictures to show you how the movement unfolded on the ground:
Here are some images of men and women assembling outside the government offices with their community claims seeking recognition of their rights:
With these on-ground efforts, AIUFWP and CJP reaffirm our commitment to defending both, Forest Rights as well Women’s Rights in our country.
*All images by AIUFWP