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AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE ON THE UTILIZATION OF THE GODAVARI WATERS AND RESOURCES


 The RoFR act recognizes the dwelling site, religious places, burial grounds, village council sites along with places of MFP, water resources, biodiverisity etc and also PVT tenures. As the implementation boils down to title deeds for house sites and lands under cultivation, SAKTI engaged the Chenchu youth to document their traditional knowledge in their idiom and dialect, in encouraging them to assert as inborn foresters, capable of managing these resources as envisaged in the Act.


"Since SAKTI activities are mostly issue based and covering a large area, here we concentrate on the forest-related programmes of SAKTI for the present study."


  

The Tribal Struggle for Property Rights

-Arun Kumar


SAKTI: Review Report by: Mukta Srivastava, Programme Officer, Oxfam GB in India - Hyderabad . DATE : 20-25 November 2002

 


RECONSTRUCTING A HISTORY OF LAND,

DISPOSSESSION OF ADIVASI LAND IN THE WEST GODAVARI DISTRICT OF A.P.

Bhukya Bhangya

Asst. Professor of History

Nizam College,

Osmania University,

Hyderabad

Read full article


 

Woeful tale of tribal exploitation 
Govt. robs tribals of their due wages
 

What does one do when Government departments exploit tribals and pay them less than their due?

The forest department, the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), the roads and buildings department, forest contractors and even naxalites are involved in the murky goings on that rob the tribals in East Godavari district of their due wages.

For almost a decade now some 50,000 tribals working in the forest areas of the district are being paid much less than the minimum wage stipulated by the Andhra Pradesh Government.

Be it cutting wood, laying roads or working on minor irrigation projects in the agency areas, the tribals are underpaid and in most cases, the rates are fixed in consultation with Naxalite groups.

Take, for example, beedi leaf collection, in the Telangana region of the State, the forest department deals directly with the leaf-pickers. This work is entrusted to contractors in the coastal districts. The rate fixed by the State government is 75 paise per bundle of 1000 leaves.

In the Telangana district, the Naxalites have ensured in some cases that the tribals get a higher rate than that fixed by the Government. In the agency areas of East Godavari, the prevailing rate is only 60 paise per bundle.

Agreement with Naxals: Last year, the contractors paid the tribals 50 paise per bundle when the forest department rate was 55 paise. This year, the contractors have come to an agreement with Naxal groups and have fixed the rate at 60 paise.

As far as construction work and road laying are concerned, the minimum wage stipulated is Rs. 19.25 for a day’s work. The contractors under the roads and buildings department or minor irrigation have been paying only Rs.15 to the tribals. These rates too are fixed in "agreements" with radical groups.

While such is the situation in respect of contractors, the forest department fixes rates much lesser than that fixed by the Government itself. The state Government from time to time revises the minimum wages payable to different categories of workers.

The last time that the Government fixed minimum wage for forestry and timbering operations was in August 1990. Prior to this, the forest department and the contractors were going by the wages fixed in 1984.

Bamboo extraction is a major form of employment in the thick forests of East Godavari district and the forest department has fixed the rates of extraction for various sizes of bamboo. For the larger variety of bamboo (20-25 cm thick) the department is paying about Rs 250 to 300 more than the minimum wage fixed for this category by the Government.

Woefully low: For other sizes of bamboo extracted, the Forest Schedule of Rates (FSR) is woefully low. For instance, if the rate for extraction is Rs 810 per 1000 bamboos, the department pays Rs 600 in some cases and Rs 480 in others. As against a minimum wage of Rs 795, the department is paying Rs 480 to 330 in some categories.

The Rytu Coolie Sangham (RCS), a Naxalite organisation, on August 20 last year came to an agreement with forest officials and under this settlement the department has been paying Rs 550 (minimum fixed by the government Rs 810), Rs 450 (minimum wage Rs 795) and Rs 350 (minimum wage Rs 760) for bamboo sizes 15-18 cm, 12-15 cm and 6-8 cm respectively.

For stacking, the minimum wage notified in the state government’s gazette is Rs 250, the FSR has put it as Rs 160,while the RCS agreement has fixed it at Rs 150 per tonne.

These rates are only for the Arundinacia variety of bamboo. For the strictus variety other rates have been specified but here too, the actual amount paid is much lesser than the notified ones.

Kept secret: While the minimum wages to be paid are specified in the state government gazette, the forest department brings out an annual for works and strangely marks it " confidential". The rates are to be notified publicly but the department keeps its official rates (FSR) secret and notifies only the rates fixed in agreements with Naxal groups. In many cases, the amount agreed upon is lesser than the FSR.

The Naxalites maintain that but for their intervention, the forest department and contractors would have paid much lesser. They contend that when contractors were paying a daily wage of Rs 12, they got in enhanced to Rs 15 and even Rs 18.

Mr. P. Sivaramakrishna, director of Sakti, an organisation working for the welfare of tribals in East Godavari maintains that the Naxalites should ensure that minimum wages are paid. There is no point in getting the tribals Rs 15 as wages when the Government has fixed the rate at Rs 19.25 he contends.

Even since 1987, Sakti had been fighting for implementation of minimum wages in the tribal areas. Neither the labour department nor the district administration has enforced the Minimum Wages Act in the forest areas, where some 50,000 tribals are stated to be working. The exploitation continues.

- News & Analysis Srikant Vittal
Indian Express Tuesday April 28 1992

   

 

W.P. No. 5515/87 M.P.No.7398/87 Date:May 1987

W.P. No. 6175/87 M.P.No.8273/87 Date:May 1987

 "Managing Director Godavari plywoods ltd. Rampachodavaram E.G.Dt. be and hereby is directed not to cut any mango trees, jamun and jack trees and cutting the forests of Maredumilli mandal, E.G.Dt."

 Only matured or dying trees were to be felled. Jeelugu (Caryota urens) palm, trees yielding minor forest produce like tamarind or cane brakes, creepers were not to be touched. A gap of 20 meters from a stream.)         --Times of India, April 30, 1991.

 

The candidate has chosen a topical subject, very relevant to our thinking on culture, cognition and language. He has red widely and is familiar with the literature that matters. His linguistic and anthropological reasoning is sound. His language is clear and simple.

...evidence of the investigator's ability as a linguist by special training and as a linguistic anthropologist by self - cultivated interest.

Prof. A.Munirathnam Reddy, Head, Department of Social Anthropology,S.V.University, Tirupati - 517502

 

Enabling the Community to Gain Command Over the Administrative Process is Empowerment.

 

"Today the development is manaement without governance and governanace is without proper participation."

 

 

A.P.Cabinet Sub - Committee Report on Left Wing Extrremists. - P.Sivaramakrishna.

The only information the government or media always compile carefully is on Naxalite encounters, never the violations of the instruments of rule of law such as minimum wages, fifth schedule, mismanagement of forests, equity in the distribution of welfare benefits, displacement, fragmentation of Socio-economic entities etc. 

        

INDIRA SAGAR (POLAVARAM) CENTRAL EMPOWERED COMMITTEE ORDER

if the R & R is found to be lagging with reference to the fixed bench marks, the construction should accordingly be deferred / stopped;

FORESTS ARE RESERVOIRS OF WATER AND LUNGS OF OUR ENVIRONMENTS.

SAVE THEM FROM MINING AND DESTRUCTION.

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