Land, Water, Forest, Natural Resource and Development

Tribal consider ‘Land’ as the‘Mother’, which is the source of their life and existence. It carries water, forest, mountains, flora & faunaand habitat. Tribals preserve, protect and co-exit with nature harmoniously. But because of faulty processes ofdemarcating forests in various categories (protected / reserved / bufferzones etc.), the rights of the Tribals over forest resources have gradually beenextinguished. Insecurity of ownership and eviction from these lands has ledto the alienation of tribal communities from their habitat leading to destitutionand deprivation. Also the small land holdings of tribal families are beingappropriated by exogenous forces due to poor land record systems, illiteracy,poverty, ignorance and land grabbing by non-tribals. This has resulted indispossession, exclusion and economic impoverishment often reducing themto the status of migrant labor, bonded laborer, or domestic help in urbanareas.

Tribals in India are forcibly displaced from their natural habitats due to variousdevelopmental activities like mining, large hydroelectric projects, rails, roads,infrastructure building, industrialization and evictions from un-regularizedland.According to a rough estimate, around two million tribal people havebeen affected by displacement due to development activities in past sixtyyears. Moreover, research studies show that more than 40 percent of thetotal displaced people in India belong to tribal community, whereas theyconstitute only around eight percent of the total population.