Raipur Declaration: Tribals seek treaty with government to safeguard their ‘existence, aspirations’
The declaration at Rashtriya Adivasi Adhiveshan expressed apprehension over 'the tribal existence that faces uncertainty as their identity, dignity and aspirations are in peril and remain distressed'
RAIPUR: Tribals urged the government to make a new treaty with them in the light of historic injustice faced by the adivasi communities as they continue to live through the “ongoing oppression and varied forms of loot”. The treaty will rebuild confidence and raise hopes among the tribals, they affirmed.
Attended by around 300 tribals from 10 states and the delegates from 44 organisations in a two-day national tribal convention — Rashtriya Adivasi Adhiveshan at Raipur in Chhattisgarh, the event concluded with a ‘Raipur Declaration’ that expressed “apprehension over the tribal existence that faces uncertainty as their identity, dignity and aspirations are in peril and remain distressed”.
The Raipur Declaration took a resolve calling upon all tribal organisations and forums to unite and reach out to all political parties, people’s movements and organisations to engage them with their agenda.
“The new treaty between the tribals and the government will safeguard tribal identity and their rights, further envisage effective steps to promote them, serve for the betterment of adivasi communities and all humankind”, stated the declaration.
It cited village council (gram sabha) as the village government, which should be the primary unit of local governance and efforts be towards empowering and making it effective.
“Village council should protect, develop and manage all natural resources (Jal, Jungle, Zameen), ensure land and livelihood rights for tribals, exercise free-prior-informed-consent (FPIC) on all development projects and simultaneously protects and promotes tribal identity, culture and languages”, the Declaration further asserted.
The tribals sought effective implementation of PESA Act as it provides traditional tribal governance structures constitutionally. “Besides there is a need to identity tribal areas which doesn’t fall within 5th scheduled areas and ensure PESA provisions are executed for them”, the resolves embodied in Declaration narrated.
The meet called for complete utilisation of allocated funds released as Tribal Development Fund and under the Tribal Sub-Plan and further setting up of monitoring committees for it at the block and district level.
The Declaration sought uniform recognition and status for the ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups’ (PVTG) and also identify Nomadic and Denitrified Tribes whose rights and entitlements must be protected.
Finally a call was given to oppose the widespread patriarchy and resolved to root it out within the tribal society.
The national convention also had extensive deliberation over the tribal community values and issues with regards to the rights set forth by the Constitution.