Gujarat tribals demand ownership of forestland

Ahmedabad, Mar 7 : Tribals living in Gujarat has staged a protest here, demanding ownership of forestland, which they are cultivating.

Over 1,000 tribals took part in a rally organised by the NGO, ”Eklavya Association”.
The tribals demanded ownership title of the forestlands. The Gujarat Government is only giving Power of Attorney rights.
“In 2005 the Central Government said that the people who were cultivating the forestland will be given the title of the land but what the Gujarat government is doing is only giving the Power of Attorney and not the ownership, so we are protesting against this. This land is our livelihood and our families thrive on this,” said Aswini Pratap, an activist.
“This is cheating. The government of Gujarat instead of giving forestland ownership title, is only giving the rights to use of the forestlands where the forest officials can come and start plantation,” added Madhusudan Mistry, another member of the NGO.
India enacted the Tribal Land Act in 2007, granting the forest-dwelling communities the rights to land and other resources.