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

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Land Distribution and Livelihoods of Forest Dependent People

Forest Rights Act

This paper, based on an empirical study in Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, attempts to examine the land and livelihood facets of forest dependent people following the claims made by them under the Forest Rights Act. It also touches upon factors influencing livelihoods such as source of irrigation, crop yield, forest produce collection, and livestock holdings to examine the respondents' socio-economic conditions. The findings revealed that the land received by the beneficiaries was very meagre in proportion to what they claimed. Besides, the study once again reiterates that forest cover was not disturbed as feared by those opposing this Act simply because no new land in the forest was given to the claimants. The land in fact was just recognised legally with the help of documents as proof that they have been occupants for long or at least from 2005 onwards. However, for those who got legal recognition over their land, it has boosted their confidence. They now feel the real ownership of their plots which led to investing in their lands without any fear about secure livelihoods.

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