New Delhi :Gudiyapar is a remote village situated in the dense Kanger Vlley National Park. This village is home to just 29 houses spread out over a vast forest area surrounded with tall Sal trees, and the chirping of Mynas. The resident tribals of this remote village have offered their bow and arrows in front of the Devi and have pledged that they will not indulge in the practice of hunting
As soon as the news of issuing Community Forest Resources by the Chief Minister reached the 120 residents belonging to 29 tribal families of Gudiyapar village, they started an forest-friendly initiative to save the flora and fauna of the forests. The villagers took a pledge in the presence of their local deity that they will give up on hunting to maintain the food chain, biodiversity and environment.
Permission was taken from Gudi Devi
It is an age-old traditional belief in Gudiyapar village that they can communicate with their Devi and she helps them take significant decisions. The villagers mutually decided that they won’t indulge in the practice of animal sacrifice anymore. The residents of Gudiyapar unanimously decided to put a stop to this traditional practice of animal sacrifice. Approval was granted instantly. As soon as permission was received, the members of the Gond community offered arrows and arrows to the goddess. Shankar Barse of the Gond community living in Gudiyapadar says that even though it sounds fictitious, we tribal families believe that we can talk to our goddess and can only initiate any work after taking her permission.
This decision taken by the government in the interest of tribal families is a unique example that has been set up by the state. Chhattisgarh has become the second state in the country to give CFFR rights.
Earlier this right has been recognized in Odisha. Gudiyapadar is a small village of about 29 houses located inside the Kanger Valley National Park. The people living here belong to the Gond community and depend on rainfed farming (rice, kodo-kutki, pulses and bananas) and minor forest produce for subsistence.
The objective of Community Forest Resource Rights (CFRR):
Many tribal families have been living in the villages under protected forest areas for almost a century. Hunting wild animals is a part of our ancestor’s practice. Due to continuous hunting, many animals have reached the verge of extinction.
The main purpose of the CFRR recognition is to protect the forests only through those people who have been protecting that area for a long time. Therefore, the right of management should also be given to the native residents. This will help in saving animals and conserving water, and forests.
It will also benefit the tribal communities living in the forest
After the CFRR recognition, the tribal community living in Gudiyapadar village will also be benefited. These rights will enable them to stop the external encroachment. The hunting of animals will come to an end which will boost eco-tourism, increase employment, and also strengthen their economic condition. Later, they will also be considered for giving them farming rights in a limited area.
Pahari Myna’s chirping will be heard in Kanger Valley
Kanger Valley National Park is famous for hill myna. The falling number of these species had put them on the verge of extinction. But now these tribal families will be prepared as ‘Mayna Warriors’ ,these warriors will ensure nesting sites, food availability, and favorable mating conditions for Mynas. So that they can be saved from extinction.