‘Provide land, food to tribals first, then talk about rights’

Rajamahendravaram: Former IAS officer Dasari Srinivasulu has suggested the government to provide food and land to tribals first and then enlighten them about Forest Rights Act and other acts given by the Constitution.

Inaugurating  a two-day awareness programme on ‘Forest Rights and Grama Sabha conducting’ organised by   Ekalavya Foundation in association with Vishwa Yuvak Kendra  on Monday here, he said that laws and acts are not going to help tribals if they are going implement with ifs and buts. He also found fault with the government on fixing deadline for implementing Forest Rights Act. He explained how even IFS and IAS officials do not know about Forest Rights Act based on his past experiences when he was project officer of ITDA in Utnooru in Adilabad district.

Speaking on Gram Sabhas, Srinivasulu said that it became a habit for ITDA and revenue officials to conduct 10 Gram Sabhas at a go in one place and call all tribals of that mandal with their scheduled programme.

‘Officials should identify the actual needs and necessities of the tribals and help them by going into tribal hamlets directly. They should not go with their own set agenda and schemes designed by government’ Srinivasulu opinioned.

He said that during the Gram Sabhas no actual need of the tribals is discussed by the Revenue or ITDA officials. He suggested that Gram Sabha should discuss survey of the land allotted to tribals of that village, maps, survey numbers and other issues related to it. He also pointed out that this will give confidence to tribals in owning their land and it will bring total change in Gram Sabha system. He told government officials not to take tribals granted as they are very important.

G.V. Subbarami Reddy, Chief Operating Officer, Ekalavya Foundation, Rajiv Nirmal, Programme Officer and Yugandhar Reddy also spoke on this occasion.