Bhubaneswar, Nov 30: Madhusudan Nyaya Pratisthan (MNP) a Voluntary Trust organised Seminar on “Tribal People” on Saturday at the venue BJB Nagar People’s Association, BJB Nagar, here. Around 70 members of MNP, lawyers, and civil society members joined as participants in the seminar.
Shri Mrugan Mauli Pattnaik, member of MNP welcomed the guest speakers and participants and shared the objective of the talk on tribal people. In his welcome Address he emphasised on the different problems being faced by the tribal people in Odisha in general and by the primitive tribal groups in particular due to land acquisition in their habitat.
Lok Sakti Abhijan president, Prafulla Samantra felicitated the young talent during the occasion. The programme was moderated byChittananjan Bairisal, member of MNP.
Advocate Gupteswar Panigrahi (working in Koraput district), Manohar Chauhan( Member, Campaign for Survival and Dignity) and Biswajit Mohanty (Environmentalist) joined in the seminar as guest speaker.
Advocate Gupteswar Panigrahi gave talk on the legal aspects for protection of tribal people in Odisha. In his deliberation, he shared on the various protective laws of tribal land in the pre and post-independence period. He said “the tribal parts of Odisha have inherited their land and forest administration systems from Madras Presidency (South Odisha),Central Provinces (Parts of western Odisha),Bengal Province (coastal Odisha) as well as from many princely states such as Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Bamra, Bonai, Boudh, Kalahandi, and Rairakhol etc.” “tribal lands were protected by various laws i.e Ex-state laws (1917 to 1948), The Agency Tracts Interest and Land Transfer Act(ATILT)(1917-1956), Kandhmal Laws Regulation (1936 to 1956), Angul Laws Regulation (1917-1956) during British period and tribal land protective laws i.e., OSATIP, Regulation 2, 1956 (duly amended in 2002) in scheduled V area and by Section 22 and 23 of OLR Act, 1960s in non-scheduled area in post-independence period in the State”. He said. Besides, he talks on the PESA Act 1996 which empowers the tribals and protects the tribal interest in the scheduled V area.
Manohar Chauhan gave talk on the Forest Rights Act(FRA),2006 and its implementation in the State. In his deliberation, he said that Forest Rights Act is a stepping stone in re-establishing the lost tribal rights in the country in pre and in post-independence period. Sharing the Individual and community forest rights recognised under FRA, he said the FRA aims at direct democracy in the grassroots giving rights to the local people(Gram Sabha) to take ultimate decision over its natural resources. Citing the story of victory of the Dongaria Kondh in Niyamgiri over Vedanta and Govt.of Odisha, he said “FRA has recognised the Gram Sabha-the village council as the “Gram Sabha Sarkar” which now can make laws, can execute them and even give punishment to its offenders within the village and can take final decision in case of diversion of forest land for non-forest use.
Lelin Kumar read out a heart touching poetry related to the life of tribal written by Akhyaya Naik and published in the “Janabadi” newspaper on the occasion.
Biswajit Mohanty displayed a Photo slide presentation on the life and livelihood of different tribal community of the State and shows how the tribal people across the State are the natural protector of the forest and environment.
The presentations were followed by open house discussion and question answer session in which many participants put question and discussed on the various issues related to the tribals.
At the end of the programme, Sanjukta Naik, Ex-corporator and member of the MNP gave vote of thanks to all the guest speakers, the organiser and all the participants of the programme.