Mumbai Adivasi Mahamorcha to demand forest rights, end to deforestation

Updated Mar 9, 2023 | 08:58 PM IST

Mumbai Adivasi Mahamorcha to Demand Forest Rights and an End to Deforestation

Photo : iStock
Reported and written by Srushti Atkare.
Mumbai : The Mumbai Adivasi Mahamorcha , a rally organized by the Kashtakari Shetkari Sanghatana , is set to take place on 10th March at Azad Maidan , opposite BMC HQ, Mumbai CST . The rally will begin at 11:30 am and will be followed by a press conference at 4:30 pm. The rally aims to demand the government recognize the rights of Adivasi s over forest land and stop all projects that harm their forests and Adivasi padas.
The rally has several demands for the government, including the right to jal, jungle, jameen (water, forest, land), the return of land rights, forest rights, and farming rights of Adivasis , and the official recognition of Adivasis as indigenous people of Mumbai, issuing caste certificates to tribals. The Adivasi Mahamorcha is also opposing the proposed SRA mega construction in Aarey Forest and the proposed zoo inside Aarey Adivasi Forest, along with all related deforestation activities.
The Adivasi Mahamorcha is also demanding an end to the displacement of Adivasis from Mumbai's forests, the prohibition of putting Adivasis in Slum Rehabilitation buildings, and the declaration of the 222 Adivasi padas as Gaothans and getting them registered on the Land Records.
The Adivasi Mahamorcha is also calling for the Adivasis to be recognized as the official landowners of the land where they have been farming for generations and for the strict implementation of the Forest Rights Act 2006 in Mumbai's Forest.
Furthermore, the Adivasi Mahamorcha is demanding the right for Adivasis to sustainably harvest minor forest produce, as they have done for centuries, and to stop withholding basic amenities from Adivasis.
The rally also calls for proper rehabilitation outside the forest for non-Adivasi slum dwellers, and the inclusion of Adivasi inputs and transparency whenever surveying Adivasi villages. The Adivasi Mahamorcha is also asking the government to inform them in advance about any mapping or boundary marking to be done in the padas and to provide support to Mumbai's Adivasi organic farmers by providing seeds and allotting space in agricultural markets.
The Adivasi Mahamorcha also demands strict action against Forest department officials who have been destroying Adivasi farmlands, extorting villagers, and cutting fruiting trees of Adivasis.
The Adivasi Mahamorcha is a significant step towards the recognition of Adivasi rights in Mumbai, and the demands put forth by the Kashtakari Shetkari Sanghatana will provide Adivasis with the justice and respect they deserve.
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