Thursday, August 20, 2009


Subhash Shirsath
CHHOTA UDEPUR, AUGUST 18, 2009: S. F. School ground, at Chhotaudepur
was abuzz with activity on August 4, 2009, as more than fifteen thousand tribals gathered for the Rally and Jahir Sabha for Tribal Rights of Forest Land and Forest Assets under Forest Act of 2006 organised by the Adhivasi Mahasabha, Gujarat on World tribal Day. Apart from the tribals, 39 NGO partner- members of Adhivasi Mahasabha from Vadodara, Dahod and Panchmahals districts, 69 Van Adhikari Samitee members and tribal farmers from villages of Jambughoda and Halol talukas participated in this rally.

In this rally, the tribal people were seen with banners, posters and shouting slogans. A sharing session at the rally brought out the grievances the young and old faced with the forest department. After which the Adhivasi Mahasabha’s team members made the people aware of their rights.

Fr. Xavier, who has been working for tribal development for the last 20 years, was the resource person for the day. Drawing from his long and rich experience in this movement, he shared several interesting issues with the people. He emphasized the need of coming together and fighting back to tackle common problems. Fr. Xavier finalized 14 issues of forest land farming and land issues of 10,000 tribal farmers which have been submitted to the Regional Collector.The rally ended with the traditional performance of a tribal dance.

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