Forest Rights Rally and mass Education programme in Adhoura, Kaimur, Bihar


Forest Rights Rally and mass Education programme in Adhoura, Kaimur, Bihar

11-12 October 2012

Kaimur Bihar

 

 

Ø     More than 5000 tribal, dalit and other forest dwellers did a historical rally in Adhoura Block of Kaimur district Bihar jointly by Kaimur Mukti Morcha (Jan Mukti Andolan) and National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW).

Ø     The two day programme was to mark the honor to the departed leader Dr. Vinyan who dedicated his life in Kaimur region to build up the forest rights movement. The programme was organized to start extensive programme to implement the Forest Rights Act 2006 in the difficult terrain of Kaimur region of Bihar.

Ø     There is complete lack of political will of Bihar Government to implement this Act that talks of mitigating the “historical injustices” inflicted on the forest people since the colonial days.

Ø     Adhoura, Kaimur region of Bihar is a very backward and lacks basic minimum facilities though getting huge funds for development to adress the issue of Maoism in the area.

Ø     Thousands of people from Kaimur region of Bihar, UP, Jharkhand and other parts of Bihar, UP, MP, Chattisgarh, started assembling in Adhoura since 10th october.

Ø     Large numbers of women were present in the meeting. On 11 October 2012 a massive rally was taken out in Adhoura to warn the officials and Govt. of Bihar to take stern action to implement the FRA in its true spirits.

Ø     The Forest Dept office, Block office and Police Station of Adhoura were gheraoed for not implementing the Act properly and against increasing atrocities on tribal and dalit people by feudals, forest department and Police.

Ø     All departments in Adhoura were shocked to see the spirit of tribal people and admitted that the Act has not implemented not at all in this very backward region.

Ø     On 12th October 2012 a mass education programme was undertaken on FRA by the leaders of NFFPFW, where BDO and Station officer were invited along with the Director of Van Vasi Ashram, Sh. Sadanand Rai. They admitted that never before such a big rally and conference has been organized and felt very happy that tribal in large numbers are getting aware regarding their rights.

Ø     BDO admitted that all the village level forest rights committees were not formed according to the rules and agreed to form them again comprising of tribal and forest people only. Station officer also said that in entire kaimur region main source of livelihood of tribal is forest and their rights have to be recognized. He said this is a civil law where police cannot interfere but indirectly various issues are related to such civil law that needs to be taken care of otherwise there will be rise in militancy. Both the officials assured that they will personally meet with DM and SP and ensure the implementation of FRA.

Ø     Vanvasi Ashram Director Sadananand Rai agreed to create an infrastructure to build up cooperative on the forest produce in the institute itself in association with NFFPFW as the amended rules gives direct control of forest produce to Gram sabha.

Ø     A set of memorandum of 20 demands were presented to both BDO and SO by Kaimur Mukti Morcha Women members Kamla devi and Prema Devi. It was agreed between officials and the people’s organization that the formation of new forest rights committees to start from first of November with the active support of Kaimur Mukti Morcha and NFFPFW. These committees will be formed in 104 villages of Adhoura Block and later will be formed in Rohtas Block too. After the FRC’s have been formed the training of all the FRC’s will be conducted in Block office to start filing both individual and community forest rights claim and as well as start the process of building the producer cooperatives so that the middlemen, forest department and other vested interests are eliminated. Many organizations will be involved to strengthen the process of building up of the cooperative that will involve NFFPFW, Kaimur Mukti Morcha, Vanvasi Kendra and independent trade union New Trade Union Initiative (Patna, Bihar).


NATIONAL FORUM OF FOREST PEOPLE AND FOREST WORKERS, (N.F.F.P.F.W.)
Near Homeguard Commandant Office

Saraswati Vihar, Near Kargi Chowk

Haridwar Bypass

DEHRADUN – 248001 (Uttrakhand)

Contact : 09412990913 (Munni Lal) 09412348071 (Vipin Gairola)

 

 

In Narendra Modi’s good-governance regime, four villagers expose mega housing scam using #RTI


Vinita Deshmukh | 21/09/2012 02:54 PM | Moneylife

Four villagers who tenaciously used RTI are presently on a satyagraha in front of the Rajkot district collectorate demanding action against corrupt officials in the Indira Awaas Yojana but no one, including Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, is listening

While Narendra Modi’s Gujarat is portrayed as a sterling example of good governance, brazen corruption in the premier housing scheme, Indira Awaas Yojana meant for those below poverty line (BPL) has not led to action against corrupt officials who have been diverting housing funds meant for the poorest of the poor to the ‘rich’ and ‘influential’ of the village, as exposed through RTI (Right to Information).

The Indira Awaas Yojana scheme is run by the Union rural development ministry to construct houses for people below poverty line. The financial assistance comprises Rs75,000 allotted to a woman or in the joint name of husband and wife. It is also extended to widows and war widows. It was the plight of a poor widow of Dhank village in Rajkot district that led to the corruption trail through incriminating evidence found through a series of RTI applications filed in the last two years, but the corrupt continue to be protected.

To protest against inaction by the state government, four villagers of Dhank in Rajkot district where the scam was exposed, Bharatbhai Ghughal, Bhanjibhai Jogel Naranbhai Varagiya and Govind Gangera are on satyagraha for the past one week in front of the Rajkot Collector’s office, to demand proper action against officers responsible for corruption in Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY). These officers, which include block development officers, assistant engineers and sarpanchs diverted funds to the rich and influential of the village for renovation of their houses. In some cases, the very same ‘rich’ and ‘influential’ people were also beneficiaries of another similar state government-run scheme, Sardar Patel Awaas Yojana (SPAY). As per rules, only villagers below poverty line can avail of one of the two schemes.

The endless power of citizen empowerment through RTI is reflected in this particular case, two villagers of Dhank who studied up to Std VII—Bharatbhai Ghughal and Bhanjibhai Jogel—tirelessly pursued the RTI route for two long years and blew the lid off a mega housing scam that is allegedly prevalent in most villages of Gujarat. Their frustration at corrupt officials not being punished despite incriminating evidence they exposed forcing the State Information Commission to direct vigilance commission to take action, has forced them to sit on satyagraha in front of the Rajkot Collector’s office.

In a press statement issued by the Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel (MAGP) which has guided these two villagers to crusade through RTI, Ghughal and Jogel have stated that, “We are agriculture labourers. Through RTI we came to know about the scam. We have approached the vigilance commission, as well as panchayat, rural housing department but no action is being taken against the officers who were responsible for this corruption. We were threatened by village sarpanch and panchayat officials but we are fighting for the cause to change the system. It’s almost a year but government has not taken any action against the responsible officers.” The press release has appealed to citizens and activists, nationwide to contact Bhanjibhai Jogel, Bharatbhai Ghughal on 09974573036 for moral support and send emails requesting action on the corrupt to RM Patel, Additional Chief Secretary, Panchayat and Rural Housing Dept (GOG)

secprh@gujarat.gov.in, commi-prh@gujarat.gov.in; D Rajgopalan, Chief Information Commissioner – Gujarat gscic@gujarat.gov.in ; Rajendar Kumar, District Collector Rajkot collector-raj@gujarat.gov.in and/or N B Upadhyay, District Development Officer, ddo-raj@gujarat.gov.in.

Jogel and Ghughal filed RTI applications at the Gram Panchayat office in 2010 requesting names of the beneficiaries in Dhank village for the IAY and SPAY schemes for the last five years. When the sarpanch came to know of this, he along with his men beat the duo. In fact, he threatened to kill them by burning their houses in the night—a statement which he made in front of the District Development Officer (DDO) who was unmoved by it. Refusing to cow down, they took the help of Pankti Jog, a RTI activist working for MAGP which also has a whistleblowers’ helpline, based in Ahmedabad. She filed a police complaint and also ensured police protection to them.

When the PIO did not reply, they filed the first appeal with the first appellate authority, that is, the District Development Office of Rajkot district. During the hearing, the PIO submitted a hand-written chit with six names of beneficiaries who received allotment out of the rules. Jogel and Ghughal refused this shabby information and demanded a certified copy of the list of beneficiaries and whether they belonged to the BPL section of the society. Says Pankti Jog, “finally multiple RTI applications were filed to procure the same information and finally they received the list. The information stated that there were 65 beneficiaries in the last five years out of which 22 of them belonged to the affluent class and had received multiple benefits, meaning they received money two to three times under the two housing schemes and had renovated their houses with it.”

Jogel and Ghughal then analysed the sheet, re-worked it in an excel sheet format and with red marks defining irregularities. They then sent it to the Vigilance Commission for suitable action against the illegal beneficiaries. Says Pankti Jog, “The Vigilance Commission was initially slow in its action but in March 2011 directed the principal secretary of the panchayat department to conduct and inquiry and submit its report to the commission. The panchayat department sought details from the District Rural Development Authority (DRDA) by conducting investigation on ground. The two RTI applicants helped the authorities in identifying homes and the DRDA conducted a panchnama and collected testimonials which proved that 22 affluent households had indeed siphoned the money meant for the poorest of the poor.

Manu Moudgil, who has done a case study on this issue states that the villagers bravely used the RTI after the conventional methods of procuring failed. He writes, “it was in 2010 that Gughal and Jogal observed that well-to-do people owning large properties were getting the houses meant for below poverty line persons. They, joined by four others, decided to raise the issue first through official representations. Their first step was to file a joint complaint to the Taluka (Tehsil) Development Officer (TDO) on 30 March 2010, seeking an inquiry into the matter. Getting no response from the administration, they armed themselves with knowledge about the RTI Act, which they had heard was bringing about transparency in governance.”

Despite incriminating evidence found against the seven officers including the sarpanch of the village Dhank which has a population 7,000 odd, neither the Panchayat Department nor the Vigilance Commission is taking action against them. States Pankti Jog, “corruption in these housing schemes’ disbursal of money runs in crores of rupees across Gujarat but the Narendra Modi government seems hesitant to take action.” The reason why these poor villagers have had to resort to satyagraha.

(Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet – The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart – Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte. She can be reached at vinitapune@gmail.com.)

No Gramsabha,compensation or environment clearance but dam work on! #Indigenous


9th august 2012,

Today on UN Indigenous Day…Sriram Sen from Tahsil Silvani in District Raisen in Madhya Pradesh is telling us that there is an adivasi village called Sendhakhar where govt is making a dam but have not done any legal work before.

They have not taken Gram Sabha permission.

They have not done any environment assessment.

They have not given any compensation to the people.

The adivasis are frightened and went to some forest land from where forest people threw him out.

There is no one to help them. This project must stop immediately. For more Mr Sen can be reached at 08889989551

http://www.cgnetswara.org/index.php?id=12965

Dalit panchayat chief prevented from hoisting the tricolour


A. Kalaimani, Dalit village panchayat president addresses presspersons at Pudukottai.

PUDUKOTTAI, January 29, 2012

M. Balaganessin

A. Kalaimani, a Dalit woman village panchayat president of Karu Vadatheru village panchayat near Vadakadu, was allegedly prevented from hoisting the tricolour on the Republic Day by a group of caste Hindus.

The group belonging to the Kallar community, led by Kumar, son of Rangammal, who is the vice-president of the village panchayat, allegedly pushed aside Ms. Kalaimani when she was about to hoist the national flag on the village panchayat office campus.

The village panchayat president told The Hindu on Saturday that she planned to hoist the tricolour at three places – the village panchayat office campus; Raja Kudiyiruppu, a residential colony; and the panchayat union primary school at Kanniyankollai.

But, in view of the problem at the village panchayat office, she allowed the group to hoist the flag at the school and cancelled her programme at the residential colony.

She has lodged a complaint with the Vadakadu police and submitted petitions to District Collector B. Maheswari and Superintendent of Police R. Tamil Chandran.

…….

Read more here

 

Next Newer Entries

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,228 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,841,103 hits

Archives

May 2021
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  
%d bloggers like this: