Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 29:
Hundreds of tribals from various corners of the state today held a demonstration in Odisha capital demanding right over forest produces, allocation of land records and employment in local industries.
Geared with their traditional musical instruments, and in cases with traditional arms, the men and women were seen performing on the streets in a bid to draw focus to their cause.
“Businesses come and set up industries. That destroys our forest, water and environment. The government earns tax, but what do we get? We demand right of the forest produces. We also demand land records for us and employment opportunities in the nearby industries,” said Gendu Ikka, a demonstrator.
“Hundreds of tribals from different areas and different organisations have come together today to fight for their rights. The big and the powerful live here in Bhubaneswar. That is why we are here,” he added.
Speaking to reporters, forest rights activist Sudhanshu Sekhar Deo said that the village boards are yet to have control over the forests which is a major source of concern for the tribals.
“The Forest Department officials continue to oppress the tribals in districts including Rayagada and Kandhamal. Forest Rights Act is yet to be implemented. Hundreds of beneficiaries are yet to receive their land records,” he added.