Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC),

Project Theme

Natural Resource Management

Target Group

Tribals

Project Period

01 Apr 2014 - 31 Mar 2015

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Introduction

The project will look at the Forest Rights Act beyond its implementation and the sole purpose of it is to enhance the tribal livelihoods convergence of livelihood schemes and programmes. The amendment of the FRA Rules has broadened the scope of Gramsabha to exercise its authority in asserting the forest rights. Now, the claim making process will be undertaken in Mayurbhanj for IFR, CR and CFR. Besides, the Gramsabha shall initiate the process of conversion of Forest Villages into Revenue villages. The landless households would be covered under appropriate schemes under OGLS and OPLE as per state revenue laws. Again, the Gramsabhas in Bolangir have delineated their traditional boundaries and have been undertaking dialogues with SDLC / DLC to recognise the Community Forest resource Rights.

Impact by partner
  • 5 CFR titles issued to 5 villages of Deogarh and the total CFR is 11 in the Project areas.
  • Process started in three Forest villages regarding its conversion into Revenue villages in Bolangir and Deogarh. Gramsabha was organised and community sensitisation has been made regarding the process.
  • Campaigns for Community Forest Rights are going on in Bolangir and Deogarh. Community Pressure Groups formed both in Bolangir and Deogarh. The members met the Collector in the Grievance days regarding CFR. Verification have taken place at the district level to process the CFR.
  • At district level, staff members including the community leaders met the Collector and DFO during the Grievance hearing days to recognise the CFR rights.
  • Sustainable Management of CFR (forest protection, regeneration, conservation and management) is in all the 15 villages.
  • Capacity building of the women, FRC leaders and tribal communities to access the Government development departments specially to the Panchayat Samity Office, Banks etc for fulfilling their immediate needs without depending upon anybody.
  • Facilitation of joint verification activities for IFR completed in Bolangir and now process is going on for title giving.
  • Landless Households in Golamunda and Bolangir have applied under OGLS and OPLE to get land rights under Revenue laws of the state.
  • Communities approached the Forest Department for convergence options availability if any and to support them technically as per the mandate of the FRA amendment Rule 2012.
  • RCDC has shared about its CFR management plan in the Regional Consultation of MOTA in Bhubaneswar.
  • Establishing market linkages for the available forest produces to enhance income level of the forest dwelling communities through initiating cooperatives.
  • Linking with sustainable agriculture process to the individual title holders under FRA

Case Study

“My long cherished dream has come true; I am now a owner of a piece of land. I got my recognition, dignity, caste certificate and all other miscellaneous certificates on behalf of government through this land patta” reiterates Rana Bhoi the day he received the land title from the Tahasildar of Saintala. Tikman Majhi says overwhelmingly that they were not aware about the government schemes relating to land but when it was discussed in Gramsabha during FRA implementation, they became interested and realised their rights over the land. RCDC has made them accessible to land. However, eight households have got one acre of revenue land under OLR Act due to their own effort.

Karlabahali, a small revenue village with 28 households is inhabited by Gond and Kondha tribals since 1954 as per the historical evidence. These tribal families were settled in Kalabahali village by the then Saintala Zamindar Ramesh Chandra Singh Bhoi who was also once an MLA in Odisha Assembly. These people were engaged in agricultural and other construction activities in the nearest Burda village of Saintala to sustain their livelihoods. The Zamindar verbally allowed each family 50 decimil land from the Zagir land (Patta land) and 2 acres of Patra jangle for their sustenance. The occupation of these Gond and Kondha tribes were collection and selling of the dry fuel wood, Sabai grass products selling, handmade khali making and its selling in nearby market. This practice is still continued by some of the households till now.

Regional Centre for Development Cooperation is working in this Karlabahali village for last three years to facilitate FRA process and for the management of CFR. During the facilitation process, it came to the picture that 12 households out of 28 do not have any land patta (even the home steed land patta) though they are residing in the Rayati land. Since FRA is applicable only in case of Forest land, so the village applied for Community Forest Rights and Individual Forest rights for the forest areas but their land right over the residing place was difficult to settle. The villagers expressed their concern over their existence issue in a village meeting to Kulamani, a staff member of RCDC and showed some encroachment fines payment slips as proof. Later on, it was unanimously decided in the Gramsabha to approach Revenue Department for a solution under the relevant state laws like OGLS and OPLE. The Government of Odisha has issued a circular on this matter earlier under FRA. In this case, according to the Revenue Inspector, the villagers get land patta under “Sukhbasi” scheme of the Government.

The villagers approached the Revenue Inspector after filling an appropriate form meant for the landless to get land. The Gramsabha unanimously passed a resolution and forwarded the same to the Tahasildar Ms Itishree Dash, Saintala. The Tahasildar ordered the Revenue Inspector to prepare the field report with his observations and remarks on the applications made by the villagers. On the basis of that report, the Tahasildar awarded one acre of land patta each to 8 households on the first phase and the rest of the households will get similar awards.

Now, the villagers are happy as they can see a ray of hope to get land patta for which they have been striving hard for years and this patta is now their identity. The Tahasildar has assured the rest of the community members to allot land patta after verifying the actual status of the land and the amount of land available within the village boundary. Now, the people are considering for availing convergence based livelihood support opportunities from the line departments for a happier life. For that purpose first round Gramsabha has been organised and the Block Officials have been approached.