Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday released the first tribal atlas of the state that provides details on important demographic indicators, including data on the population, literacy and sex ratio, reported PTI.
This is the first time the Community Forest Resource rights has been recognised in an urban setting and in the main area of a tiger reserve, reported Hindustan Times. The Community Forest Resource is the common forest land that is traditionally protected and conserved for sustainable use by a particular community for accessing the resources.
The development means that a community would have cultivating rights in a nearby forest. In core areas of a tiger habitat, however, a prior approval of the forest department would reportedly be required for such activities.
Chhattisgarh is the third state after Jharkhand and Odisha to prepare an atlas for its tribal population, according to a government official. The announcement came on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
“It [atlas] also has minute details on tribal culture such as tribal dances, festivals, religious beliefs, art and craft, language, dialects and tourism of different tribes residing in the state,” Director of Tribal Research and Training Institute, Chhattisgarh, Shammi Abidi, told PTI.
The information will include a brief description about the 42 tribal groups residing in the state, along with their unique history.
“The Tribal Atlas of Chhattisgarh will be an important tool for policy and research dealing with culture and development of tribes...,” Abidi added.
A Chhattisgarh government official told the Hindustan Times that the tribals residing in Nagari, Churiyara and Tumbahara wards in Dhamtari district would now get Community Forest Resource rights on 10,200 acres of forest.
The state government also recognised the rights of five villages that is spread over 13,700 acres of forest in the core area of the Sitanadi Udanti Tiger Reserve. This spread across the Dhamtari and Gariyaband districts.
Chhattisgarh Bachaao Andolan convener Alok Shukla lauded the decision. “We welcome the step and urge the government to give more rights to the tribals and forest dwellers of the state,” he told Hindustan Times.