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 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




Bhukya Bhangya

Asst. Professor of History

Nizam College,

Osmania University,


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Women and Governance in South Asia

Edited by:

Yasmin Tambiah

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East Godavari  |  Khammam

West Godavari is the smallest Agency area in Andhra Pradesh comprising of only 3 mandals. These mandals are a part of Kovvur Revenue Division which includes 18 mandals (15 are non-tribal). As a result the 3 tribal mandals do not receive the quality of attention that is given by a sub-collector. The Project Officer of Tribal Welfare is also not from the IAS cadre. His role is also confined to development and does not encompass land issues. The non-tribals adopted the strategy of obtaining stay orders from various courts and thereby virtually stalling the process of disputed land identification and distribution. Even where District administration had clearly found that land was occupied without title by non-tribals, stay orders were obtained from the High Court on frivolous grounds to prevent further action.

In 1992, SAKTI discovered this abuse of legal process where stay orders supposed to be in force for 60 days were being used for years and even decades together. By virtue of its past work in East Godavari district, SAKTI was able to obtain locus standi to implead in these cases. By 1996 all the 32 separate writ petitions that were holding the disposal of cases were consolidated into one batch, the Collector filed his affidavit in support of SAKTI’s stand and the cases were listed for final hearing before the High Court. The continuation of these stay orders for so long a time had created a false impression in the area that there was a "general stay" in West Godavari, by quoting which many other cases where disputed land was identified were also not being decided. This fictitious concept was now under serious challenge and its end was now inevitable. By its action, SAKTI had exploded this myth of "general stay" which sent shock waves through the illegal non-tribal occupants of tribal land in the district. Meanwhile, the public reading of land records in the presence of the District Collector became a practice in the tribal areas. The tribals by this time were motivated to pursue their rights over land by the reading of land records and well aware of the implications of the vacation of stays by Courts. They were now closely looking at the lands in their respective villages Survey number by Survey number and questioning how the transfers to non-tribals had taken place in the past despite the laws preventing such transfers. Non-tribals then attacked and tried to intimidate tribals in Busarajapalli village which is located in the midst of non-tribal areas. Instead of their usual meek acceptance of the punishment sought to be meted out by non-tribals, they responded aggressively to the attack and chased away the attackers. After this incident, the non-tribals attacked the office of the Mandal Revenue Officer and burned the land records for the entire area. Much of the land in West Godavari is fertile, irrigated, and valuable - with conservative estimates of market prices ranging up to Rs.150,000 per acre for prime land; being fertile the land also generates a significant income. Now that the writing on the wall was clearly visible, the non-tribals fell back on an old strategy that has served them so well over the years: using amenable police officers to terrorise the tribals and break their will to fight for their rights. The managed to get a Deputy Superintendent of Police amenable to their influence posted in Jangareddigudem, which has jurisdiction over this area. This officer launched a terror campaign to intimidate tribals and SAKTI’s staff by foisting hundreds of false criminal cases on them. His role was even noted in a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee which criticised the police for its ineffectiveness in maintaining peace and for taking sides with the non-tribals. The tribals kept up their vehement protest against his actions till he was transferred from the area in September, 1997 (unfortunately he was posted to Rampachodavaram where he started a campaign of vicious attacks on SAKTI, its staff and office and booked many false cases against tribals and SAKTI’s staff - described later). Meanwhile the Communist Party of India (Marxist) tried to hijack the land movement in Butayyagudem area. In response, in 1999, a Sub-Inspector of Police with a notorious record of encounter killings and lock-up deaths was posted in Butayyagudem Police Station. Through his vicious actions, he managed to kill the land movement in this area. The non-tribals then got him transferred to Jilugumilli area in early 2000 where he continued his repressive actions for almost one year. The tribals in that area resisted his efforts vigorously and as a result the Police had to allow the tribals to enjoy the land which they had negotiated earlier pending final settlement by the authorities. This Sub-Inspector was later suspended by the government due to his involvement in unlawful activities. 




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. 



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



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