Odisha: Dengajhari Gram Sabha in Nayagarh district shows unique way of forest protection

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Nayagarh: Dengajhari, a small village in Ranpur block of Nayagarh district witnesses a unique way of forest protection. Yesterday dated 25th Sept, the members of gram sabah specially the women counterparts who are majority in Forest protection and management committee formed under Section 5 of FRA and under Section 4(1) (e) of the Forest Right Rules inaugurated a forest rights information center in the village with great enthusiasm and tradition. This village has already shown its unique forest protection initiative from last thirty years and the women of this village have saved and protected their forest as their child. Sasi Pradhan, president of the Forest Protection and Management Committee(FPMC) sharing his feeling on the inaugural day of FR information center said “ we have been protecting our forest before FRA enactment as ours and we feel the enactment of the historic FRA as reward for our long years of efforts.”
In the FRA information center, they have kept some books of Forest Rights Act and Rules, claim forms, their CFR map, gram sabha resolutions related to forest and its management etc. With the inauguration of the information center, the members of the Dengajhari gram sabha also resolved to regenerate indigenous forest species in their CFR area. “With this effort, we not only protecting our forest resources but also challenging the age old forest bureaucracy hegemony and trying to say that forest belong to us and it will be always with us” said Sasi Pradhan.
“However, it is regretted that despite our consistent efforts and CFR claim submission at the Sub-divisional Committee (SDLC) for recognition of community forest rights under FRA, 2006 from last two years with all formalities, the district administration has failed to provide us CFR title”, he further said with discontent.

It is to be noted that Dengajhari is a small village having 39 households and 176 population including 93 STs and 56 SCs as per Census 2011. Like Dengajhari, there are many other villages in the Nayagarh district protecting their forest from generations and have filed CFR claims at the FRA SDLC and waiting to get CFR titles in the district.

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