A three-day Adivasi Mohoshav concluded at Kaniaghati Village in Lepripada block of Sundargarh district on the other day. The Mohoshav jointly organized by Sanskrutik Kendra and Zilla Gram Sabha Coordination Committee, Sundargarh. The programme was inaugurated by the present Biramitrapur MLA, Jorge Tirkey on 8th Feb.
Hundreds of community people nearby 25 villages from Dumerbahal, Rajbahal, Giningkela and Sarabgarh Gram Panchayat of Lepripara Block and Hemgiri block participated in the programme. In the Adivasi Mohoshav along with the cultural programmes, different sports competitions i.e Hockey, dance, quiz, song etc. was simultaneously organized in which 18 hockey teams, 13 dance groups participated from nearby villages.
On the first day of the programme Anil Ekka, the co-organizer of the programme welcomed all the guests, participants of the cultural and sports competitions and shared the objectives of the Adivasi Mohoshav. He said that “the main objectives of this cultural cum sports programme is to orgainse the youths of the area and to sensitize them, orient them on different pro-tribal rights recognized under the constitution of India.” “We also want to preserve our rich tribal culture, language and tradition in the changing scenario” he said.
In the first day of the Programme, addressing the large gathering, Jorge Tirkey said “the rich culture and tradition of the tribals is under threat due to mining and industrial development resulting displacement of the tribals from their home in the area. The Govts. of the day is pro-corporates and anti-tribal which has determined to snatch away all the land, water and forest from the tribals and want to leave them venerable in their own land.” He called upon the people to organize and fight collectively against this conspiracy of the present government and against all injustice done to them. He also inaugurated the Hockey match in the first day.
In the second day of the programme on 9th Feb, Dr. Manohar Chauhan, Member, Campaign for Survival and Dignity(CSD) Odisha joined as guest speaker. In his key note address, he acknowledged the struggle of Sundargarh tribals for the enactment of the historic Central PESA Act, 1996 and Forest Rights Act(FRA),2006. Sharing the important provisions of FRA, he said “FRA is not just for recognisition of rights over forest land but it is a historic reform in the whole forest governance system where the community people would have exclusive rights to manage and govern the forest where they are depending upon for their live and livelihood”. Citing the victory of Dongaria Kondh in the Niyamgiri case, he explained how the Gram Sabha is recognized as “Gram Sabha Sarkar” by FRA and called upon the people to establish “Gram Sabha Sarkar” in all the villages. He demanded for the dismissal of the Panchayatiraj system which he called is the main obstacle before establishing “Gram Sabha Sarkar” and FRA implementation in its true spirit in the State. He also asked people to raise the demand for FRA-Gram Sabha for ever for all purposes in the village which is also constitutionally recognized under Central PESA, Act 1996.
Augustus Lugun, the senior tribal leader of Sungargarh who fought for the Central PESA Act joining the Adibasi Mohoshav remembered tribal heroes who fought and died for bringing independence in India. He said, “While most of the kings surrendered and accepted the slavery before Britishers, it was the tribals who fought and defeated them”. Sharing the objectives and various provisions of the Central PESA Act, he criticized the Govt. of Odisha for its dilutions and demanded immediate implementation of the Central PESA Act in the State.
In the concluding day on 10th Feb of the Adivasi Mohoshav, Mr. Abraham Kulu joined as guest speaker. In his deliberation, he focused on the problems on displacement due to mining, industries etc. He called upon the people to organize and to fight against the causes of displacement. The important tribal leaders who contributed in the Adivasi Mohoshav are Father Ashok, Father Alexius Dungdung, Charles Kiro, Advocate Lawrence Lakra and Bipin Odiya.