Laya makes a difference in empowering marginalized communities

Safeguarding Adivasi Rights for Social Justice

Activities at the local level

  • Has succeeded over the years in ensuring that adivasis have reclaimed their land rights on about 25000 acres through legal recourse and by effective administrative decisions. The progress in the last five years shows the following results:
  • Facilitating access to justice through legal and other advocacy measures.
  • Empowering adivasi communities through awareness and legal education.
  • Generating data for advocacy and training on the adivasis' rights to natural resources.
  • Promoting activists/paralegals to play a vigilance role in safeguarding rights to natural resources.
  • Organising legal education camps for adivasi youth on land rights, women’s rights, human rights, Right to Information Act, Forest Rights Recognition Act, etc.
  • Organizing Legal orientation Camps to CBOs/Women Groups.
  • Conducting paralegal training programmes.
  • Conducting community mobilization on various issues like RoFR Act implementation, Rejected Claims of RoFR, etc.
  • Surveying and identifying drop outs in villages of East and West Godavari districts and also facilitating readmission of drop outs.
  • Facilitating tribal youth to apply for tribal community certificates.
  • Facilitating adivasi households to secure ration cards in East and West Godavari districts.
  • Facilitating adivasi households to secure job cards in East and West Godavari districts under MGNREGA.
  • Facilitating applications of eligible persons for Old Age Pension (OAP).
  • Facilitating adivasi widows to get Widows’ Pension in East and West Godavari and Khammam districts.
  • Initiating RTI Applications on Previous LTR orders, Settlement orders, RoFR Information from RoFR Cell, TSP funds, Land Compensation details, Fair Adangals, Removed pensions list in Devipatnam and Gangavaram mandals, List of Existing mining quarries in agency tracts from AD, Mines Rajahmundry.

Policy actions

  • Advocated the urgency to frame Rules under PESA Act. The Rules were finally framed in 2011.
  • Challenged the notification issued by the Government of Andhra Pradesh at the High Court for conducting auctions to give licenses to run liquor shops in the Scheduled Areas. This is against the PESA Act and attempts to override the powers of the gram sabhas.
  • Engaged with the NTFP, India, and AP Girijan Sangham assailing the order of the Supreme Court passed for eviction of tribals in the cases of rejections of their claims under Recognition of Forest Rights Act.
  • Lobbied with the Tribal Welfare authorities to follow the ‘reservation’ norms in the Scheduled Areas to fill up the Teachers’ posts with Scheduled Tribe candidates as per GO Ms 3.
  • Challenged the GO Ms 76 issued by Government of Andhra Pradesh considering the major son only as a separate family unit thus ignoring the rights of a major daughter for the rehabilitation and resettlement benefit under Project Displacement.
  • Moved to resist delivery of 4000 acres of land situated in 6 hamlets of Manturu estate village in Devipatnam mandal, East Godavari District to a non-adivasi ‘inamdar’ based on an earlier District Court order.
  • Made representations to State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on the issue of compensation for the lands under Musirimilli Project, East Godavari district, thereby drawing attention to the non-implementation of Relief and Rehabilitation Package under Polavaram Project.
  • Challenged the proposal for extension of Judicial Courts to Agency areas to deal with civil matters in the Supreme Court and lobbied with the Tribal Welfare Department for continuation of executive courts which are more accessible to tribal communities as the procedures are relatively simple. The High Power Committee accepted our contention in the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court of India then up held the contention and ordered the continuance of the existing Agency Courts.
  • Challenged the monopoly power of Girijan Co-operative Corporation (GCC) over minor forest produce as indicated in PESA in order to empower the gram sabhas with authority to take decisions on sale of minor forest produce. The High Court permitted the adivasis’ to sell their minor forest produce outside the Scheduled Areas.

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