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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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 Nallamala forest in the midst of Andhra Pradesh spread over 10416 .76 sq.kms in 6 districts of A.P. 3568 square kilometers is wildlife sanctuary and also a tiger reserve in this forest. It is inhabited by a PVT (Particularly Vulnerable Tribe) Chenchus, having a population of 70,000. Nallamala is a rocky region supporting moderate forest but rich in wild grass. The forest being a catchment provides ecological security for the dry land parts of

surrounding districts, supplying fuel, fodder and water. Apart from food gathering, Chenchus used to work as guides to the pilgrims visiting the temples in the inaccessible areas by walk. They were also engaged by farmers to protect their crops from the wildlife.

But the “educated” in the government thought that these tribes should come out of the forest, settle in the colonies, make out a living from the lands distributed them and get education etc. there by derive benefits of development. But the schemes were not successful anywhere. Their life became miserable. Meanwhile the forests were encroached and degraded. At last, the governments all over the world realized the need to recognize the traditional enjoyments, management of resources and intellectual property rights.

Nallamala forest is encroached @ 0.930 square kilometers every year. So there is every need to motivate the Chenchus by recognizing then as knowledgeable partners in the conservation of forest.

The ROFR act recognizes the dwelling site, religious places, burial grounds, village council sites along with places of MFP, water sources, biodiversity etc and also PVT tenures. The Tribal Welfare dept engaged SAKTI to train the ITDA staff and tribal community leaders in preparing the maps with the above uses. The ITDA of Chenchus extensively conducted trainings in this regard. As the programme 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. The contents of the act are illustrated on the lines of a popular game “tiger and a goat”. (Puli-meka game)

The  documentation in a diagram  depicts  the  cosmic world of Chenchus(p.136),  the twists  in  remodeling the mainstream  stories  according to his lifestyle, (Chenchu laxmi story (page:53) – forest dwellers) the table of the  terms of relationship referring to the wildlife as  members  of his extended family (p.267). The techniques in training his pet dogs, a must follower in his pursuits in the forest. The variety of forest grasses and wildlife feeding on them (Ubagaddi, Kaarugaddi etc.), the differences between the Chenchus and others in extracting the bamboo, the pilgrim and tourist places are also portrayed.

The five types of honeys and honey bees, their habitats and seasons,(p.187) the home ranges of different animals around a Chenchu habitation, (p.379 Allimatta-Memecylon edule/Umbellatum, Sagamatta-, Korinda, Yelkanakkari-Brahmin poison nut/Patridge pea climbing/Olax scandens, Pariki podalu) the place names of landscapes(p.75(2)), and the folklore associated with them. The documentation is enriched with sketches of pugmarks, sculls, etc. of animals, the feathers claws, beaks of birds, shapes of leaves, flowers etc with corresponding popular English and scientific terms to the Chenchu idioms. Thus the book enables the Chenchu to communicate his knowledge to the ‘educated’ and helps as a guide to the ‘educated’ to understand and see the forest with the eyes of Chenchus. Some of the villages illustrated in this book such as Thummalabayalu, Chintala, Chinartula, Marripalem are along the road from Dornal to Srisailam pilgrim center. So a visitor with the help of in this book can get the Chenchu into conversation and know much more about the forest and his knowledge. Such exposures develop communication skills and leadership qualities among the Chenchus.

A comparative analysis with a wildlife management plan of the ‘Tiger Reserve’ with the Chenchu knowledge proves his edge .In support of this documentation of Chenchus, the literature which can be


cited as evidence in the act, from the works of eminent anthropologists Heimendorf, Bhowmic, Gangadhar, Anil Gupta (IIM), Census of India, gazetteers, also (English synopsis, translated Telugu versions) are added in this book. The ways and concessions allowed by forest department for pilgrims and Chenchus, which can be recognized as community rights, are also available.

SAKTI claims this documentation by tribes by themselves is one of its kinds in India and hopes that similar efforts in other places help in empowering the tribes and thereby conserving the forests. Along with this book SAKTI published another book on the status of governance of natural resources and the lapses and efforts in protecting the interest of Chenchus, alternatives such as fishing against hunting the game, which is prohibited according to the Act.

The biology teachers (zoology, botany) in degree and junior colleges are not capable of identifying flora and fauna in the field. So a handbook enabling to become a field naturalist engaging local tribe as a guide is the need of the hour. Not with standing with this requirement, there is a need to familiarize with the jargon of forest administration. The Pivotal role of local tribe Chenchu in managing the forest is described right from the 1885 in the Kurnool district manual, Census of India ethnographic notes, village monograph (Byrlutigudem) and also by eminent anthropologists Haimendorf and Bhomick.

While a propaganda was unleashed pointing out that tribes, marine fisher folk, pastorals moving in vast tracts are over exploding the resources, studies were taken up all over the world highlighting the sustainable methods of local communities in utilizing the resources. The “Social ecology of a tribe: The Chenchu (A food gathering tribe in Andhra Pradesh)” of V. Gangadhar and Anil Gupta is one among them. The editors of the book provided brief translation of this literature at appropriate places.






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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TRIBAL UNREST IN W GODAVARI FACT, FICTION AND FIRST INFORMATION REPORTS The non - tribal farmers’ associatation has been emboldened to complain that if the police had been stern from the begininning, things would not have come to such a pass. Let us remind ourselves that the tribal unrest of West Godavari is being led, not by the Naxalites or any violent group but by an entirely law abiding voluntary organisation ‘Sakti’. Can one hope that sense will prevail some-where in the official hierarchy concerned with the welfare of tribals and the tribal unrest will be met with justice and not further threats of ‘stren’ action and police cases? K.Balagopal (The author is general secretary of Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee) - Deccan Chronicle, Monday, May 5, 1997.

Reply letter to the National Human Rights Commission - S.R.Sankaran

"It is unfortunate that this matter has been dealt with an issue concerning Police alone. The very fact that there have been such a large number of 118 cases booked, all apparently all against 2175 tribals shows that there is some thing wrong about approach of teh Government and its agencies"

Requested to prepare the district wise (ITDAs) Traditional and Customary Boundary map

“Dr.P.Sivaramakrishna, Director Sakti, is requested to prepare the district wise (ITDAs) Traditional and Customary Boundary map (Resource map) in consultation with the elders of the habitats and traditional sages such as religious places,burial grounds, village council sites along with places of MFP, water resources, bio diversity etc. and also Primitive Tribal Groups tenures for conferring rights under RoFR Act, 2006.” -- Smt. A.Santhi Kumari IAS, Commissioner, Tribal Welfare Dept.

Smt. K.Chayaratan,IAS, Commissioner, Tribal Welfare Dept.

“In WP NO.3734/93, Sakti Vs State of A.P. a division bench of A.P. High Court held that person includes Government. AP Forest Development corporation Limited. Which is an undertaking of Govt. of AP also constitutes a ‘person’. The right to collect cashew fruit from cashew plantaions situated in Naramvadi gudem vill. of Ashwarao pet Mandal in Khamma Dist. is null and void.” To, District Colelctor. Khammam Dist. GO.RT.No. 523, Dt: 01/12/1999,formation of cooperative of Tribals for sale of cashew fruit.

Vinod K Agarwal, IAS Commissioner, Tribal Welfare Dept.

“it has been represented to me that the checnhu tribals have been prevented from dropping fish seed in Rasul Cheruvu situated in the Scheduled area of your district by one fisherman Cooperative Society of Kondanagula. I request you to please get the matter looked into immediately and restore the right to the tribal over the said Rasul Cheruvu.” To, Sri. K.Madhusudhana Rao IAS District Colelctor. MBNR Dist. Copy to: P.Sivaramakrishna, SAKTI

ITDA official asked to pay wages

Horticltural officer of ITDA has been directed to pay the wages to his employees for having failed to discharge legitimate obligation under Minimum Wages Act. The matter was finally disposed off recently directing the officer to pay Rs. 1,25,775/- on which half of the amount as compensation for the delayed payments. They were being paid Rs. 19 instead of Rs. 26 by the time of filling petition in 1992. While the wage board ordered to pay Rs. 39 the horticultural officers of different farms in the agency area of East Godavari district were paying of Rs. 26. only. - Indian Express - November 24, 1995.

Issue of Cane wood to the Tribal beneficiaries

The forest range officer is directed to give necessary instructions to the section officers and forest guard to guide the beneficiaries in cutting and transporting the cane. - Dist. Forest Officer, Kakinada. (Memo.No. Rc.No.18945/85.L)

Forest working plan East godavari Dist. 1995 - 2005

50% of mango trees occupy the total no.of trees in kota Range and 30% in Pullangi range. Since there was an agitation from the tribals against the felling of mango trees, the department has decided to restrict the felling to 2.5 to 3 cum on an average in Kota range and 3 trees per hectare and around 4 cum per hectare on an average in Pullangi range, as against the above figures. The supply of wood to the factory was totally stopped by the High court of Andhra Praadesh as the felling orders issued by the state government are not obtained with prior permission of Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India.

Coastal Fisher Folk

   India has a coastline of nearly 8,118km. Its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), stretching over 2.02 million sq. km, covers a wide range of coastal ecosystems such as estuaries, lagoons, mangroves, backwaters, salt marshes, rocky coasts, sandy stretches and coral reefs. Given its long and productive coastline, and in view of the potential for contributing to the economic growth of the nation, the fisheries sector is very important.

Full Deatils


Studies & Reports

"The efforts of radical organizations and political parties have failed, whereas the effort of an N.G.O. has succeeded with more potential."
"Resources Must be Shared"

"Chandi Prasad Bhatt visit inspired me to take a different course of action, litigation to check the deforestration, since the hold of Naxalites [Maoist revolutionaries] is intense in these areas and they are also part of the nexus."

"The struggle will continue

not for the land,

but for the titles."

Partner sites

SAKTI in Brief

30 years work of SAKTI

A brief English note on Nallamala Chenchu Prapancham( Chenchu world in Nallamala Forest)

A note on Tribal Land moment in West Godavari and Khammam Districts

Sakti with Chenchus

Siva, one of the few academics working at grass root level



 V & VI Schedules of Constitution