Fight for “jal, jangal, jameen” succeeds at DBSS Nagpur
DBSS Nagpur for the past five years has been facilitating the process for claiming community land under Forest Rights Act, for the people of Shegaon in Bhandara district, Nagpur. The Manaviya Hakka Sangharsa Sammity (MHSS), formed in 2004 for addressing local issues of the community, has played a pivotal role in overlooking the whole process of Community Forest Rights.
After few trainings and workshops in 2012, the MHSS chartered a demand for “Samuhik ban hak” (community land right) for 120 hectare forest land in Shegaon. After several visits & interactions with Govt. officials, holding meetings, rallies and dharnas, the community received 44.8 hectares of forest land in June 2016. A committee of four members was formed to further take ahead the process of demarcation. Finally after waiting for two years, the demarcation of community land of village Shegaon was completed in December 2018.
The community members are very happy as now they will be able to use the land collectively to gain sustainable livelihood through it. Now the villagers are also confident to learn and avail other schemes and entitlements of the Government for their community’s benefit. It took two decades of continuously working with the community to build trust, create awareness, capacitate leaders and representatives, undergo official processes with community, regular follow-ups etc. to avail the benefits to the community. In this case, though the Government assures the entitlements under the Forest Rights Act, the sanctioning of the land itself took four years’ time after submitting the application. CNI SBSS had been facilitating DBSS staff with the knowledge base, linking with Government schemes and regularly following up on all the processes undertaken by DBSS with the communities.