ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

No Rights to Live in the Forest

Van Gujjars in Rajaji National Park

Victims of ill-conceived policies governing forest resources and environmental conservation, the Van Gujjars, a pastoral nomadic community  residing in the Rajaji National Park, are struggling to get their forest rights and entitlements under the FRA Act, 2006. 

India is a green country. According to the Forest Survey of India,  forestland occupies a little over 21% of the country’s total geographical area with moderately dense to very dense forests covering approximately 13% of the landmass.(Forest Survey of India: 2011). 95% of this land is owned by the state, a practice dating back to the British rule, when the colonial regime viewed forests as a reservoir of colossal wealth, and the state had a monopoly over its resources.

Forests may be a source of wealth for the state, but for more than 10 crore forest dependents, as the Ninth Five-Year Plan noted in its mid-term appraisal, (Planning Commission: 2002)  it is a source of livelihood and sustenance, fodder, fuel-wood, small timber, honey, wax and fruits. More than 6 crore of these people are adivasis, and as most of forests are located in dry and deciduous regions these people live a very hard life.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.