The TRIBAL RIGHT FOOT MARCH FOR JUSTICE PEACE AND RESPECT through the tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh was a success. From the 20th November till the 10th December a group of 100 people where walking for justice, peace and respect. Although the Forests Right Act was passed in 2008 majority of the people have not been given land rights until now. Despite their special status under the 5th schedule, the governments have been rejecting their right to consensus based localized decision making as guaranteed by the PESA Act. Not only is tribal land being diverted towards unauthorized uses, locals are also facing harassment in the form of false legal charges. These are multiplying the issues of poverty, migration and exploitation.
After four days of walking through the Dindori District and numerous meetings with the village chiefs, Ekta Parishad had an public hearing at Ranjara Village, the last village in this district. Dindori Collector Chavi Bardwaj (IAS), Additional Collector Soniya Meena (IAS), CEO Karam Veer Sharma(IAS) & Dindori MLA Omkar Markam met with Ekta Parishad Founder Rajgopal and his Staff to discuss the problems and challenges collected from the chiefs.
It was a constructive meeting. All parties involved are committed to do their best to improve the situation and to implement the already existing Forest Right Act to protect Adivasi Land.
As the Foot March is continuing, Ekta Parishad is making progress in bringing people together, discussing and taking actions together with the government to help the landless. Below is a summary of the media coverage of the Foot March so far.