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 The RoFR act recognizes the dwelling site, religious places, burial grounds, village council sites along with places of MFP, water resources, biodiverisity etc and also PVT tenures. As the implementation boils down to title deeds for house sites and lands under cultivation, SAKTI engaged the Chenchu youth to document their traditional knowledge in their idiom and dialect, in encouraging them to assert as inborn foresters, capable of managing these resources as envisaged in the Act.

"Since SAKTI activities are mostly issue based and covering a large area, here we concentrate on the forest-related programmes of SAKTI for the present study."


The Tribal Struggle for Property Rights

-Arun Kumar

SAKTI: Review Report by: Mukta Srivastava, Programme Officer, Oxfam GB in India - Hyderabad . DATE : 20-25 November 2002




Bhukya Bhangya

Asst. Professor of History

Nizam College,

Osmania University,


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 Tribal woes in A.P.

The Hindu, August 4, 1995.

By R.J. Rajendra Prasad.

The tribal scenario in Andhra Pradesh is quite depressing. The percentage of literacy among Scheduled Tribes is 7.82 and among ST women it is 3.5 per cent, as per the 1981 census figures. Despite stiff Land Transfer Regulations, land in trial areas has virtually passed on to the moneylender and the trader from the plains. The new forest policy, which seeks to protect the forests for the sake of environment, is perceived to be in conflict with the interests of the tribals who have lived in harmony with nature since time immemorial. There is a demand from MLAs and non-tribal representatives for amendments to the Land Transfer Regulations to permit the non-trials to acquire land and set up new business in the tribal areas, a demand clearly detrimental to the tribal interests. Some of the laws, such as the Hindu Succession Act, cannot be applied to tribal families, resulting in hardships.

What is the outlook for trials? Is it in making the existing laws more stringent, to prevent their exploitation, or in helping the tribals in having their land restored, or promoting social action groups working among tribals? To focus attention on these problems, the Andhra Pradesh Judicial Academy and the Department of Tribal Welfare recently conducted a seminar on "Scheduled Tribes and Social Justice."

How the pendency of cases in courts affects social justice can be seen by the fact that a decision is still awaited in a case filed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in the Supreme Court about 15 years ago, challenging the decision of the High Court holding that Regulation 1 of 1970 does not have retrospective effect. The Regulation prohibited the alienation of any land in the agency tract, except to a tribal. Even if a non-tribal could prove that he had acquired the land in question through lawful means, he cannot sell it to any other non-tribal but the High Court judgement has given an opportunity to a non-tribal to prove that he acquired the land before 1970 and circumvent the Regulation.

This is because a presumption was adumbrated into the Regulation 1 of 1970 to say that "any immovable property situated in the Agency tracts and in possession of a person, who is not a member of a Scheduled Tribe, until the contrary is proved, was presumed to have been acquired by such a person, or his predecessor in possession, through a transfer made to him by a member of Scheduled Tribe."

Dr. K. Mohan Rao of the Department of Tribal Welfare suggested amending Regulation 1 of 1959 to overcome the legal hurdle imposed by the High Court judgement and give retrospective effect to the provisions of Land Transfer Regulations.

Dr. B. Janardhana Rao, a post-doctoral fellow of the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research, said the "legal mechanism evolved to address the land problem in tribal areas is often delayed, prevented and diluted in its application and implementation." According to his study, out of 54.792 cases booked under Land Transfer Regulations, only 21, 169 cases were resolved in favour of tribals. He says that 9, 615 cases were dropped. 6, 923 cases were pending, while 17,042 cases were decided in favour of non-tribals. He said that immigrant peasantry belonging to Kamma, Kapu and Raju communities had acquired large estates in the Godavari valley from Eturunagaram to Polavaram. Each landholder controlled not less than 200 acres of land.

Mr. N. Vidya Prasad, an Additional District Judge, presented a case study of a tribal couple working in a Government department, who wanted to separate and approached the Agency courts in Visakhapatnam district. But the petition was returned, as the judge felt that he had no jurisdiction to entertain such an application and grant a divorce under the Hindu Law. Then the tribal couple approached the sub-ordinate judge's court, Chodavaram, but this judge also returned the application, saying he had no jurisdiction to entertain any such application from natives of a tribal area. The tribal couple had no remedy.

Two events occurred in Andhra Pradesh which were detrimental to tribal interests. In 1976, the Government included the Sugalis (banjaras or lambadas), Yerukalas and Yanadis in the list of scheduled Tribes, resulting in the population of scheduled Tribes doubling between the 1971 and 1981 censuses. The second was an order, G.O.Ms. 129 issued on August 13, 1979, when Dr. M. Channa Reddy was Chief Minister. The order prohibited the eviction of non-tribals from tribal areas, provided their holdings were less than five acres wet or ten acres dry land. The list of ST in Andhra Pradesh consisted, until 1976, of communities like Goads (total population 1,69,000), Savara (82,100), Kolam (21,800) and Konda Dora (1,39,000). With the 1976 order the Lambadas became the largest tribal group with a population of 11, 58,000, followed by Yanadis with 3,20,000 and Yerukalas with 3,00,000. Cases filed against Lambada agriculturists for being in possession of tribal land in districts like Adilabad, Warangal , Nizamabad and Khammam had to be withdrawn after 1976. There was also a migration of Lambadas from border districts of Maharashtra like Chanda and Nanded in to Andhra Pradesh, seeking the benefits of reservation, because the Lambadas continued to be listed as members of backward classes in Maharashtra , while being STs in A.P.

The provocation for the 1979 GO was that the then District Collector at Khammam, Mr. I.V. Subba Rao, started dismantling tobacco barns and settlements of non-tribals in the district, invoking the provisions of the Regulation 1 of 1970. There was naturally an uproar from the plains people and Dr. Channa Reddy wanted to resolve the dispute with the cooperation of all major political parties, which supported the move. Subsequently, the High Court struck down the GO as being inconsisment with the spirit of the Regulation of 1970.

Dr. K. Mohan Rao says that 92 per cent of trial population living in agency areas depend on agriculture for survival because of lack of education, mobility and entrepreneurial skills. "However, out of the total cultivable land of 18,48,000 acres in the Scheduled Areas, more than 48 per cent is legally or illegally under cultivation by non-tribals," Dr. Mohan Rao says.

Mr. Ravi Rebbapragada, a social worker working for the 'samata' organization for the uplift of tribals in Paderu areas of Visakhapatnam district, says that he was kept in a police station for some days when he accompanied tribals to file a case in the High Court against the Birla periclase company, which was permitted to operate from a tribal area. "I was arguing with the police that I was working within the law and the Constitution, seeking a perfectly legal remedy available for the tribals of moving a writ petition in the High Court, but the police officials thought that I was a naxalite, waging a war against the State. It became difficult to convince the police because we were talking in different wavelengths. They were pressuring us to withdraw the writ petition and we were resisting this pressure," Mr. Ravi explained.

Mr. Sivaramakrishna, working for the 'Sakthi" organization in Rampachodavaram area, demands that the details of the land holdings in the Scheduled Areas, collected in 1989 by the Telugu Desam Government under the "Telugu Girijana Magaani Samaaradhana" scheme be published, because it contains the list of non-tribals who could be evicted under the Land Transfer Regulations.

There are dozens of high court judgments, a number of enactments, a large number of socially committed bureaucrats, on the side of the tribals. But the situation is developing completely against tribal interests. There is a large allocation of funds for tribal welfare, but still officials at the lower level are not motivated to put in their best effort. One participant said the report that a Scheduled Tribes candidate with just one mark (out of 200) in a Common Entrance Examination got a seat in an Engineering College in Uttar Pradesh sent a wrong signal about S.T. aspirations. A student with one mark cannot cope with any course, let alone a professional courses. Similar is the case in Andhra Pradesh where every ST student who appears or a common entrance test for medical or engineering course is sure to get a seat, because seats reserved for this category do not get filled up.

A focus on primary education and primary health, with a clear and consistent attempt by social activists endowed with missionary zeal to teach Scheduled Tribe children in asram schools, appears to be a sure method on improving the prospects of the Scheduled Tribes in the long run.

Girijan durbars to settle land disputes
INDIAN EXPRESS, September 17, 1995.

Eluru, Sept 16 : "Girijan Darbars" will be held periodically to settle the problems of Girijans, said Integrated Tribal Development Agency project director D Rajesham. The "darbars" were being held at Kota Ramachandrapuram every Wednesday, the project director said in a statement here.

Mr. Rajesham said priority would be given to settling disputes between Girijans and non-Girijans over landholdings, at the durbars. So far 382 land disputes had been settled and 2819 acres of land returned to Girijans, he said.

Medical teams would be sent to the Agency areas every Wednesday and immunization programme had been taken up in Girijan villages, he said adding the ITDA was trying to improve facilities at schools in tribals villages.

The project director said Girijan development works were also being taken up with international funds, apart from the State and the Central assistance. He said Rs. 58 lakh has been distributed among 1633 Girijans under various developmental schemes with 50 percent subsidy during 1994-95.

A scheme sponsored by Government of Italy, which was launched in 1994-95, would be implemented for seven years. He said Rs. 1.12 crore was being spent under this scheme for development works in 45 Girijan villages.

The ITDA official said financial assistance would be extended to Girijans to promote horticulture in 2,230 acres. He said training classes would also be conducted at a cost of Rs.18 lakhs on raising of mulberry gardens in 150 acres. Plans had been formulated to construct check dams at a cost of Rs. 1.37 crore and for digging wells at a cost of Rs. 90 lakhs.

The project officer said seven satellite nurseries were raised in Kota Ramachandra puram area and 2,62,000 saplings of cashewnut, mango and coconut were being raised in the nurseries. He said under the employment generation scheme, Rs. 67.50 lakh has been spent for constructing buildings and Rs. 7 lakh for lift irrigation schemes in Girijan villages.

The ITDA official said 160 Girijans had been trained in mulberry cultivation, typewriting, incense stick production and driving under the Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana this year at a cost of Rs. 1.61 lakh.

He said 'Vana Rakshna Samithis' would be formed in 30 Girijan villages soon and 500 hectares of reserve forest land would be given to the samithis in each village and the profits of the scheme would be distributed among Girijans.

Free lodging and boarding facilities were provided to 6575 Girijan students studying in ashram schools and notebooks were also distributed to them, the project director said.






W.P. No. 5515/87 M.P.No.7398/87 Date:May 1987

W.P. No. 6175/87 M.P.No.8273/87 Date:May 1987

 "Managing Director Godavari plywoods ltd. Rampachodavaram E.G.Dt. be and hereby is directed not to cut any mango trees, jamun and jack trees and cutting the forests of Maredumilli mandal, E.G.Dt."

 Only matured or dying trees were to be felled. Jeelugu (Caryota urens) palm, trees yielding minor forest produce like tamarind or cane brakes, creepers were not to be touched. A gap of 20 meters from a stream.)         --Times of India, April 30, 1991.


The candidate has chosen a topical subject, very relevant to our thinking on culture, cognition and language. He has red widely and is familiar with the literature that matters. His linguistic and anthropological reasoning is sound. His language is clear and simple.

...evidence of the investigator's ability as a linguist by special training and as a linguistic anthropologist by self - cultivated interest.

Prof. A.Munirathnam Reddy, Head, Department of Social Anthropology,S.V.University, Tirupati - 517502


Enabling the Community to Gain Command Over the Administrative Process is Empowerment.


"Today the development is manaement without governance and governanace is without proper participation."



A.P.Cabinet Sub - Committee Report on Left Wing Extrremists. - P.Sivaramakrishna.

The only information the government or media always compile carefully is on Naxalite encounters, never the violations of the instruments of rule of law such as minimum wages, fifth schedule, mismanagement of forests, equity in the distribution of welfare benefits, displacement, fragmentation of Socio-economic entities etc. 



if the R & R is found to be lagging with reference to the fixed bench marks, the construction should accordingly be deferred / stopped;



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