Habitat rights for Chhattisgarh tribals in Naxal area soon

  1. The Chhattisgarh government is processing habitat rights under Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 for Abujh Marias, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG).
  2. The Abujh Marias live in Abujhmarh forest area in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.
  3. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 seeks to recognize forest rights of Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been occupying and are dependent on the forest land for generations.
  4. The Act recognizes a) Community Rights or rights over common property resources of the communities in addition to their individual rights, b) right of ownership, access to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce, c) Rights in and over disputed land Rights of settlement and conversion of all forest villages, old habitation, un-surveyed villages and other villages in forests into revenue villages, d) right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which the communities have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use, e) right to rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or displacement from forest land, f) Right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge related to biodiversity and cultural diversity
  5. Section 3(1) (e) of FRA, 2006 entitles PVTGs with habitat rights over their entire habitation and ensures protection of culture and way of life.
  6. The PVTGs are the marginalized section of the Scheduled tribes of India. They are a section who are relatively isolated, educationally and socio-economically backward, living in a habitat far away from amenities.
  7. PVTG is not a Constitutional category, nor are these constitutionally recognized communities. It is a government of India classification created with the purpose of enabling improvement in the conditions of certain communities with particularly low development
  8. The criteria followed for determination of PVTGs are: a) A pre-agriculture level of technology, b) A stagnant or declining population; c) Extremely low literacy; and d) A subsistence level of economy.