Environics Trust (ET)

Project Theme

Natural Resource Management

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Apr 2015 - 31 Mar 2016

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Introduction

Oxfam and Environics Trust aim to continue the ongoing work on appraisal of rights, to enable communities to assert their rights in mining areas and establish a facility to regularly interact with the legislators.

 

About the Project: 

The strategy revolves around informed choices which become available to the community by way of exposing them to the rules and working of District Mineral Foundation, training of alliance members and community based organisations on the roles, functions and mandate of DMF and protection of their rights. For doing this we will bring out fact sheets and infographics in a manner most understandable by the community. This will enhance the learning of trainees to also do advocacy with fellow citizens and public authorities. Generating awareness, imparting administrative and legal trainings will strengthen communities to hold discussions in their communities and raise collective voice with facts for smooth functioning of the DMF. A public charter of demands is envisaged for long term engagement with functionaries and functioning of DMF, its management and that its objectives of social welfare are being addressed in the right spirit.

 

Results to be Achieved: 

A. Analyse the Rules, regulations and funds of DMF to generate information for the affected community and CBOs

  1. Compile and analyse the rules and regulations governing the District Mineral Foundation 
  2. Assess the projected revenues to the foundation in each of the districts;
  3. Analyse the general budgetary funds in different sectors such as social (education, health etc.), physical (roads, utilities), compensation to affected communities and redressing environment pollution which will enable evaluation of the expenditure of the foundation and whether these correspond to the needs of the communities.
  4. Develop Fact Sheets and Infographics to enable understanding and for use in wider public engagement

B. Public Engagement to Mobilise Communities in the Region

  1. Conduct meetings at local levels in mining areas in collaboration with local groups such as Sarthak and Mehnatkash Kisan Mazdoor Union in Chhatisgarh, Adivasi Mahasabha, Nari surakhya samiti in Odisha, Ulgulan Manch and Coal workers union in Dhanbad, Dumka in Jharkhand, disseminating the information on revenues, budgetary allocations, inclusion and exclusion of affected people and areas and obtaining feedback on the key aspects in which the communities need investments from the District Mineral Foundation to mobilise people towards a charter of demand
  2. Widely circulate the information to active local media which have been tracking developments on illegal mining, DMF and other citizens forums, members of the various tribal and other local organisations, educational institutions such as the colleges and universities, CSO and INGO and members of the mm&P alliance through printed infographics, e-mail, social media etc. to disseminate the information to a larger group for increased awareness among communities and organisations across mining districts
  3. Develop discussion groups on DMF’s functioning in the selected districts covering issues of composition, accountability, identification of the affected people, denial of forest and other rights in mining areas, violations and illegal mining and current guidelines (Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojna) which can inform the community of various dimensions, and
  4. Conduct training programmes on administrative and legal mechanisms for redressal of grievances which cover appeals with the administration and governing council of DMF, procedural and rights based issues emanating while protecting the resources and rights of communities. 

C. Seek State and National Government Response

  1. Develop a consensual community Charter of Demands on the long-term management of DMFs funds based on the feedback from all these interactions which can be taken back to the State and National Governments. The charter of demands is derived from facts and changes required through the process described above. 
  2. Advocating through petitions and meetings with relevant authorities in the State and Central Government to take appropriate actions on the charter of demands. 

 

Prior Achievements:

While the alliance has been consistently petitioning and following the MMDR law, the abrupt changes by the new elected government adopted the approach of selective amendment of MMDR, thereby causing the earlier comprehensive draft to become redundant. The members of the alliance deposed before the 'Select Committee' on this new amendment (MMDR Amendment Act, 2015) and sought attention on affected people in mining areas, especially scheduled areas where people centric legislations like PESA, FRA are being diluted. As the legislative reforms and rule framing takes time, we embarked upon making people aware about provisions of DMF as outlined in PMKKKY (the scheme) so that once the operationalisation of DMF is done, the benefits are routed to the affected communities. The alliance reached out to communities, media, academicians covering the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. This enabled focused writing on 'sharing of natural resources' and illegal mining by media.