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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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The Andhra Pradesh government taken up JFM programmes with World Bank funds in 1993. SAKTI supported by SPWD hosted the first state level conference of NGOs and officials in December 1993 in Rampachodavaram. Then Principle Secretary forest department Sri S.Ray participated for three days in this conference. In the preparatory workshop conducted in Maredumilli forest guesthouse preceding the conference SAKTI proposed that here after the tribal should implement and follow FC act either by checking the government where it goes wrong and supporting it where it is needed. In the conference SAKTI shared its experience through charts photographs, distributed material on the experience of Chipco movement taking up afforestation; the forest protections committees of people successfully protecting forests in 20000 village in Orissa state; the traditional management system of common property resources particularly among the tribals of East Godavari. The venue of the workshop was named after the local idiom used for such system ‘Noorinti Adavi’ which means 'forest of hundred house holds’. Already several villagers are protecting forests in drought hit Anantapur district.

SAKTI tried to impress upon the participants, while the government orders allowing deforestation can be challenged in court of law, the inconsistencies and loopholes in the management allowing smuggling, not following silviculture principles and under payment of wages and corruption in executing the works can only be checked by a vigilant NGO moment educating themselves and community in forest operations and influencing an attitudinal change in the foresters and forcing a change in the policies on the ground. SAKTI felt that the department should not be allowed to wash of its hands pumping money to JFM. It is duty bound to follow the guidelines of MoEF, activise forums constituted under the wild life protection act and allow the poor to participate in conflict resolution – forest protection afforestation. SAKTI went ahead with its Nurinti Adavi community forest management programme. Sri Aravind Khare the then Executive Director of SPWD observed that -

"NGO-supported community-based conservation: NGOs are supporting community struggle for conservation of their resources in two ways: one is to fight the attempts of entrenched classes to do any more damage and the second is to devise positive solution for conservation. For example, Sakti is a federation of 23 community groups who have been protecting their forests for more than 10 years, much before the advent of JFM, and, because of their strength, are in a position to consolidate their conservation efforts by utilizing JFM provisions".

- Aravind Khare in Communities and Conservation, 
Natural Resource Management in South and Central Asia. Page No:98 
– Published by Kalpavriksh in 1998

The state government earmarking certain areas and funds for JFM went ahead declaring its policy of forest management in 1993. According to the new policy the forestry administration would concentrate on high priority areas where it has a comparative advantage and unique mandate, and divest itself from activities that can be more efficiently performed by other groups, including local communities. In 2000, the state government went ahead, inviting the involvement of industries in supporting JFM programs in rejuvenation of degraded forest areas. In 1999 GOI also issued a circular inviting private investment in the forest.

Instead of taking afforestation under the specific guidelines of MOEF inviting proposals under "Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Association of Scheduled Tribe and Rural poor in Afforestation of Degraded Forests" the department went ahead with JFM programme in the lands under theoccupation of tribals in the reserve forests with fond hope of erasing the hope of individual ownership from the minds of tribals.

"The task of the VSS is to protect land falling within its revenue boundaries. But the use of forests was not based on revenue demarcations. So the VSS took on the responsibility to keep away the ‘outsiders’. The project funds compelled the VSS to raise and protect the ‘boundaries’ from its traditional users. Overnight, many people lost access to grazing lands, fuel wood and livelihood. Even beedi leaf, a seasonal plant that is harvested when the leaves are tender and within a short time was not accessible. the VSS then had to stop grazing by cattle from the people in the village. Then began curbs on shifting (podu) cultivation – a practice among tribals to grow subsistence food crops on hill slopes. The appraisal mission of the World Bank has acknowledged with satisfaction that the project has succeeded in reversing and podu".

- Participatory Forestry and Peoples Entitlements 
– A Case Study, Dr. K.S.Gopal, CEC.,

The government has to revise the minimum wage rates for every 5 years. But ignored to revise them between 1990-2000. One of the MoEF guidelines direct the department to involve the officials of tribal welfare in fixing the wages. Though the Project Officer, Tribal Welfare is the Chairperson for the JFM programme in the scheduled areas, the tribal welfare department did not assert for their involvement in fixing the wages. The letter of the Commissioner of Tribal Welfare to appraise the stand of the forest department in this regard is yet to be answered. It did not correct the loopholes in smuggling and entrusted to VSS the job policing the forests from head leaders.

The staff appraisal report of World Bank identified delay in setting of rights of the people in the Wildlife Sanctuaries is one of the reasons for the hostilities between forest department and tribals in A.P. District Collectors who are vested with powers to settle the rights used to act as check on the claims of forest department. But forest department in 1997 delegated the powers of District Collector to one of their senior officers in the department, the conservator. Inspite of getting such sweeping powers the department did not initiate the process of settlement.

GOs protested the attempts of government inviting private investment in the JFM programmes and opposing the alleged attempts of the forest department to dislocate the tribals from their lands covered by JFM. Govt changed the name of JFM to CFM by a order again announced a state policy of forest management similar to 1993 order.

The Department confined involvement of JFM committees only to the works supported by the World Bank. When the government released funds for the excavation of trenches on the boundaries, the department executed the works importing their choice of labour.

Tribal efforts to improve their involvement in the process:

In 1993 Upholding SAKTI petition against leasing of lands to non-tribals the court ruled that ‘person includes government’. The Commissioner Tribal Welfare instructed to the Collector, Khammam to evict APFDC managed by a govt. nominated body of non-tribals having cashew plantations in the scheduled areas of the district. But in SAMATA judgement in 1997 government and its corporations are allowed to own lands. But tribals of Khammam district forced the FDC to distribute 1600 acres of cashew plantations to the self help groups. The Chenchu tribes of Mahaboobnagar district exposed and the department supporting fishing for commercial purposes in Nagarjuna sagar – Srisailam Tiger reserve (wild life sanctuary) where such activity is prohibited under law and checked the same through court orders. They obtained court directions to dispose the proposal regarding declaration of their villages in the sanctuary as revenue villages. For the last 50 years since independence, government ignored to enroll them as voters in the elections of Panchayat Raj institutions. Now not only they are enrolled as voters; they elected their representatives. They are demanding active participation in the management of Sanctuary participating in the state wild life advisory board and other related forums and insisting a stake in working out tourism programme.

In May 2002 govt of India issued a circular to take up measures evict encroachers from forest lands. SAKTI traced the history off these encroachments and the abandoned attempts to regularise them in a petition filed in High Court of A.P. The court stayed the eviction of tribals from forest lands.



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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