NEW DELHI: A proactive state government in recognising forest dwellers’ rights can help improve their livelihood opportunities shows a study conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Maharashtra.
The study analysed 87 orders, circulars and notifications related to the Forest Rights Act (FRA) issued by the Maharashtra government between 2008 and 2018.
Close coordination among the different state departments have helped recognise rights and other states can strengthen the rights of forest dwellers through progressive government orders, according to the study. Two orders conflicted with spirit of the implementation of the FRA, it said.
Preliminary studies on the impact of policy interventions, especially in the Vidarbha region, revealed improvement in the socio-economic condition of the forest dwellers after their rights were recognised, said Geetanjoy Sahu, assistant professor, TISS.
The 63 orders issued by tribal development, rural development and Governor’s office in Maharashtra, were innovative and progressive, the study pointed out.
Some key progressive orders included giving recognition to gram sabhas in local decision-making on mines, water bodies and minor forest produce and empowering the ‘tribal cell’ constituted under the Governor’s office.