Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Dalit Bahujan Adivasi

Maharashtra to give one time grant of Rs. 4,000 to tribal families

The forest dwelling communities have faced a bad brunt during the lockdown due to not being able to collect and sell forest produce

Sabrangindia 16 Jun 2020

Tribals

he Maharashtra government has decided to give a special one-time grant of Rs. 4,000 to tribal households in the state as part of what could be the first economic package post the lockdown, Indian Express (IE) reported.

Late last month, the state’s Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had announced that the government would soon announce a financial package to help people tide over the economic crisis they faced due to Covid-19. Free Press Journal had reported Finance Department officers as saying that the government would focus on the vulnerable poor, daily wage earners, migrant workers, farmers and the rural economy through the package. In the past, the state has relied on state-run cash debt for the subsistence of tribal households during natural disasters.

The grant for tribal families is said to be a part of the Rs. 700 crore stimulus package for tribal and forest dwelling communities that were hit the during the lockdown. IE reported that the Tribal Development department proposed to give the grant in both, cash and kind, with Rs. 1,000 going towards cash and the remaining being provided in the form of ration supplies and essential commodities. It also cautioned against a full cash transfer mentioning the high rate of alcoholism among tribal communities.

However, the Finance Department prefers to disburse the grant through direct benefit transfer as it will be quicker and effective, suggesting that procuring the supplies for the almost 1.25 crore tribal population will delay the benefits to be given.

The forest dwelling communities have been badly hit by the lockdown as bulk of annual forest produce collections happen during April to June, a period that corresponded with the lockdown. Officials told IE that they were worried of the subsistence of these tribal communities as they would probably go without work during June to September as well.

Forest dwellers across the country affected during lockdown

Minor Forest Produce (MFP) provides critical subsistence to primitive tribal groups like hunter gatherers and landless, especially during lean seasons. MFP ensures 20 – 40 percent of annual income to forest dwellers and the activity is seen as a powerful step to women empowerment as most of the MFP is collected, used and sold by women.

Last month on May 4, 2020, a group of civil society organizations, activists, researchers and experts working with forest dwelling communities submitted a report to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) to highlight the plight and negligence of Adivasis during the lockdown.

The report stated that an estimated 100 million forest dwellers who depend on minor forest produces (MFP) for food, shelter and medicine had faced severe consequences of the lockdown as the April to June period when around 60 percent collection of the MFP takes place had been affected. It also stated that the Van Dhan Vikas (skill improvement of tribals for optimum utilization of national resources) and Minimum Support Price (MSP) schemes announced by the Central government were inadequate to address the MFP issues as there was no institutional support to carry these out in tribal areas. Last month, around 45 – 50 NTFPs were brought under the ambit of MSP which was increased from 16 percent to 66 percent across 20 states. However, the benefits to the forest dwellers seemed far due to the lack of institutional structure - the primary procurement agencies (PPAs) proposed by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) had not been constituted yet and most out of the 1,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs) were not fully functional.

It also stated that the trading and value chain of non-timber forest produce (NTFPs) like bamboos, resins, spices, essential oils, etc. had been completely broken as traders weren’t willing to buy these items during the lockdown.

Last month, around 45 – 50 NTFPs were brought under the ambit of MSP which was increased from 16 percent to 66 percent across 20 states. However, the benefits to the forest dwellers seemed far due to the lack of institutional structure - the primary procurement agencies (PPAs) proposed by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) had not been constituted yet and most out of the 1,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs) were not fully functional.

The movement on restrictions has also left many tribal communities in the lurch as they are not able to move inside forests to collect the MFP. Not only this, cattle grazers and their livestock have been affected too as they haven’t been allowed to move into pastures to feed cattle.

Not only this, subverting the norms of the Forest Rights Act, the government of India and the forest department have been harassing indigenous residents of the forests. A community forest was cut down for commercial plantation in Odisha and the Environment Ministry opened up protected areas like the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary for coal mining in part of the reserve, apart from the alleged clearance of felling 2.7 lakh trees for the Etalin project in Arunachal Pradesh.

Related:

46 farmers protesting land grab and damage to crops detained in Gujarat

MP Forest Department allegedly burns down tribal family's home

Odisha Forest Department cuts down traditional trees, destroys livelihood of forest workers

All Assam Students’ Union protests coal mining in Dehing Patkai forest

Maharashtra to give one time grant of Rs. 4,000 to tribal families

The forest dwelling communities have faced a bad brunt during the lockdown due to not being able to collect and sell forest produce

Tribals

he Maharashtra government has decided to give a special one-time grant of Rs. 4,000 to tribal households in the state as part of what could be the first economic package post the lockdown, Indian Express (IE) reported.

Late last month, the state’s Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had announced that the government would soon announce a financial package to help people tide over the economic crisis they faced due to Covid-19. Free Press Journal had reported Finance Department officers as saying that the government would focus on the vulnerable poor, daily wage earners, migrant workers, farmers and the rural economy through the package. In the past, the state has relied on state-run cash debt for the subsistence of tribal households during natural disasters.

The grant for tribal families is said to be a part of the Rs. 700 crore stimulus package for tribal and forest dwelling communities that were hit the during the lockdown. IE reported that the Tribal Development department proposed to give the grant in both, cash and kind, with Rs. 1,000 going towards cash and the remaining being provided in the form of ration supplies and essential commodities. It also cautioned against a full cash transfer mentioning the high rate of alcoholism among tribal communities.

However, the Finance Department prefers to disburse the grant through direct benefit transfer as it will be quicker and effective, suggesting that procuring the supplies for the almost 1.25 crore tribal population will delay the benefits to be given.

The forest dwelling communities have been badly hit by the lockdown as bulk of annual forest produce collections happen during April to June, a period that corresponded with the lockdown. Officials told IE that they were worried of the subsistence of these tribal communities as they would probably go without work during June to September as well.

Forest dwellers across the country affected during lockdown

Minor Forest Produce (MFP) provides critical subsistence to primitive tribal groups like hunter gatherers and landless, especially during lean seasons. MFP ensures 20 – 40 percent of annual income to forest dwellers and the activity is seen as a powerful step to women empowerment as most of the MFP is collected, used and sold by women.

Last month on May 4, 2020, a group of civil society organizations, activists, researchers and experts working with forest dwelling communities submitted a report to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) to highlight the plight and negligence of Adivasis during the lockdown.

The report stated that an estimated 100 million forest dwellers who depend on minor forest produces (MFP) for food, shelter and medicine had faced severe consequences of the lockdown as the April to June period when around 60 percent collection of the MFP takes place had been affected. It also stated that the Van Dhan Vikas (skill improvement of tribals for optimum utilization of national resources) and Minimum Support Price (MSP) schemes announced by the Central government were inadequate to address the MFP issues as there was no institutional support to carry these out in tribal areas. Last month, around 45 – 50 NTFPs were brought under the ambit of MSP which was increased from 16 percent to 66 percent across 20 states. However, the benefits to the forest dwellers seemed far due to the lack of institutional structure - the primary procurement agencies (PPAs) proposed by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) had not been constituted yet and most out of the 1,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs) were not fully functional.

It also stated that the trading and value chain of non-timber forest produce (NTFPs) like bamboos, resins, spices, essential oils, etc. had been completely broken as traders weren’t willing to buy these items during the lockdown.

Last month, around 45 – 50 NTFPs were brought under the ambit of MSP which was increased from 16 percent to 66 percent across 20 states. However, the benefits to the forest dwellers seemed far due to the lack of institutional structure - the primary procurement agencies (PPAs) proposed by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) had not been constituted yet and most out of the 1,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs) were not fully functional.

The movement on restrictions has also left many tribal communities in the lurch as they are not able to move inside forests to collect the MFP. Not only this, cattle grazers and their livestock have been affected too as they haven’t been allowed to move into pastures to feed cattle.

Not only this, subverting the norms of the Forest Rights Act, the government of India and the forest department have been harassing indigenous residents of the forests. A community forest was cut down for commercial plantation in Odisha and the Environment Ministry opened up protected areas like the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary for coal mining in part of the reserve, apart from the alleged clearance of felling 2.7 lakh trees for the Etalin project in Arunachal Pradesh.

Related:

46 farmers protesting land grab and damage to crops detained in Gujarat

MP Forest Department allegedly burns down tribal family's home

Odisha Forest Department cuts down traditional trees, destroys livelihood of forest workers

All Assam Students’ Union protests coal mining in Dehing Patkai forest

Related Articles

Theme

Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura
summer

Summer Culture

Our first summer culture bouquet features fiction from Syria and Iraq and poetry and art from Palestine.
khoj

Teaching Without Prejudice

Report of the CABE Committee on 'Regulatory Mechanisms for Textbooks and Parallel Textbooks Taught in Schools Outside the Government System

Campaigns

Thursday

25

Jun

Bhubaneswar

Monday

13

Jan

Nationwide

Videos

Health

Our families will die of hunger or commit suicide: Auto Drivers of Bengal

Autorickshaw drivers in Bengal are facing major crises amid the covid-19 lockdown. Caught between the struggle of fare hike and reduced number of passengers per ride, they are also facing the risk of scaring away potential passengers and a major reduction of daily income. In such a situation, some auto drivers don’t know the way forward. Watch this SabrangIndia exclusive video where auto rickshaw drivers of Bengal share their experiences.

Health

Our families will die of hunger or commit suicide: Auto Drivers of Bengal

Autorickshaw drivers in Bengal are facing major crises amid the covid-19 lockdown. Caught between the struggle of fare hike and reduced number of passengers per ride, they are also facing the risk of scaring away potential passengers and a major reduction of daily income. In such a situation, some auto drivers don’t know the way forward. Watch this SabrangIndia exclusive video where auto rickshaw drivers of Bengal share their experiences.

IN FACT

Analysis

Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura
summer

Summer Culture

Our first summer culture bouquet features fiction from Syria and Iraq and poetry and art from Palestine.
khoj

Teaching Without Prejudice

Report of the CABE Committee on 'Regulatory Mechanisms for Textbooks and Parallel Textbooks Taught in Schools Outside the Government System

Archives