Bankura District Meeting

The Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 recognizes the rights of the forest dwelling tribal communities and other traditional forest dwellers to forest resources, on which these communities were dependent for a variety of needs, including livelihood, habitation and other socio-cultural needs. The forest management policies, including the Acts, Rules and Forest Policies of Participatory Forest Management policies in both colonial and post-colonial India, did not, till the enactment of this Act, recognize the symbiotic relationship of the STs with the forests, reflected in their dependence on the forest as well as in their traditional wisdom regarding conservation of the forests. The Act further enjoins upon the Gram Sabha and rights holders the responsibility of conservation and protection of bio-diversity, wildlife, forests, adjoining catchment areas, water sources and other ecologically sensitive areas as well as to stop any destructive practices affecting these resources or cultural and natural heritage of the tribal. The Gram Sabha is also a highly empowered body under the Act, enabling the tribal population to have a decisive say in the determination of local policies and schemes impacting them.TheScheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989is an Actof the Parliament of Indiaenacted to prohibit discrimination, prevent atrocities and hate crimes againstscheduled castes and scheduled tribes. The Act is popularly known asthe SC/ST Act. It was enacted when the provisions of the existing laws (such as the Protection of Civil RightsAct 1955 and Indian Penal Code) were found to be inadequate to check these crimes (defined as 'atrocities' in the Act).Recognising the continuing gross indignities and offences against Scheduled Castes and Tribes, the Parliament passed the 'Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989