There has been a uninterrupted addition in the figure of protected countries, national Parkss and sanctuaries in India since the early 1970s. Around 3 million people live in these protected countries.[ 1 ]Although the creative activity of buffer zones, in conformity with UNESCO ‘s ‘Man and Biosphere Programme ‘ has allowed some sum of human intercession, yet in most instances creative activity of protected countries has led to a supplanting of people from their original topographic points. Such actions have been justified on the land that these local communities constitute a menace to woods and wildlife. This attitude has been challenged by the affected people. As a consequence these protected countries became spheres of resource struggles.[ 2 ]
The intensification of resource battle around protected countries has led to the development of a new scheme of preservation. It is critical of authorities policies and is directed against conservationists who support such policies. The authorities schemes have been looked down upon as a top-down attack to preservation and have been criticized for their non-participatory character. The urban conservationists have been termed as ‘elitist ‘ for their failure to look into the societal roots of environmental usage and maltreatment.[ 3 ]The Jungle Jivan Bachao Yatra is one such bottom-up motion which emphasizes on the engagement of rural communities and NGOs in environmental preservation policies.
Whether the Yatra was successful in traveling beyond an articulation of the jobs into an geographic expedition of alternate schemes at preservation?
Members of assorted preservation groups, NGOs and local communities participated in this yatra. Four NGOs were mostly involved in forming the yatra ; the Tarun Bhagat Sangh of Rajasthan, the Centre for Environment Education of Gujarat, the Maharashtra Arogya Mandal and the Ekta Parishad of Madhya Pradesh.[ 4 ]These NGOs organized the March in their several provinces.
Aims and Aim
The chief aim of this March was to do a critical appraisal of official preservation policies. There was besides an effort to originate a duologue between assorted parties involved in preservation so as to affect local rural people in germinating new schemes of preservation. A big portion of this appraisal was based on engagement in the run March. This method of research based on engagement involved taking portion in informal group meetings followed by a treatment with some of the chief organisers of the Yatra. Press Jockey shortss were documented, and published stuffs distributed during the March were besides analysed.[ 5 ]
This yatra was a ‘journey of find ‘ because its intent was to analyze the conditions of wildlife and human population in protected countries and to larn about the experiences of all the societal histrions involved. The chief object behind this was to mobilise and therefore convey together assorted scattered organisations and groups in order to synthesise their experiences and formulate preservation schemes. Hence the Yatra was besides a protest against the ineffectualness of the bing preservation policies and direction.[ 6 ]
The Yatra traversed 18 national Parkss and sanctuaries in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh covering a distance of 14,000 kilometer over a period of 50 yearss. Sariska Tiger Reserve, the Keoladevo National Park, Ranthambore National Park, Jamwanagar Sanctuary, the Gir National Park are some of the militias that were included in the path. The Yatra ended in Delhi. After the Yatra, a two twenty-four hours convention was held in Delhi to determine the accomplishments and to be after subsequent actions.[ 7 ]
These are some of the resource struggles in the countries covered by the Yatra:
Pastoral Rights- One of the chief demands of the Yatra was to reconstruct the graze rights of the local pastoral communities. There was an open opposition against the prohibition on graze, peculiarly in Bharatpur and Ranthambore. The participants of the yatra besides resisted the prohibition by non following functionary regulations and countenances.[ 8 ]
Fuel-Wood Crisis- For rural communities populating close to protected countries, the handiness of fuel wood did non present as much of a job as entree to it. Due to rigorous ordinances, the lone manner of acquiring fuel wood was by corrupting the wood functionaries. For low-income families, such illegal aggregation became a beginning of income. What the militants had to state was that if the communities had a free entree to these resources, they would take merely what was required by them. This was in contradiction with the official position harmonizing to which, free entree would take to a depletion of fuel wood.
Joint Forest Management ( JFM ) strategy is an attempt to come up with a in-between land. Under this strategy, the forest section takes attention of the protection and the preservation of woods with the aid of the local communities, so as to run into the fuel-wood demands of the communities.[ 9 ]
Minor Forest Products ( MFPs ) – The provinces prefer to monopolise over MFPs. Trading in MFPs generates income for the hapless, particularly in tribal countries. Most merchandises are collected after monsoon. The collection-cycle of MFPs show that the income from these, aid in endurance during dry months. Hence the Yatra demanded abolishment of province monopoly, a free market and just monetary values for MFPs.[ 10 ]
Commercial and Industrial Pressures- Many national Parkss and sanctuaries were denotified due to industrial and commercial force per unit areas. Such activities were supported by preservation functionaries. For illustration, bamboo extraction was justified on the land that it allowed sunlight into the Parkss. Similarly excavation was justified on the land of economic benefits. The Yatra was a protest against such activities.
Crop Damage by Wild Animals- Crop harm by wild animate beings led to a monolithic economic loss. The province authoritiess gave compensation for onslaughts on worlds by wild animate beings but gave no compensation for harvest harm. Neither would they give compensation, nor would they set about preventative steps such as fence of Parkss and sanctuaries to forestall the translocation of wild animate beings. The Yatra demanded execution of preventative steps.[ 11 ]
Forest Land and Forest Wage Labour- Conservation motions have ever faced the issue of invasion on forest land. Cultivation of wood land has ever been a widespread phenomenon. The rapid addition in nutrient demand due to an addition in the population has brought more and more forest country under cultivation. The Yatra, nevertheless wholly ignored this fact.[ 12 ]
The Yatra revealed the edginess faced by environmentalists while covering with the demands of regularisation. The battles in Dangs and Shoolpaneswar over encroachment received really small attending as compared to the other issues dealt with by the yatra.
Critical Discourse of the Yatra
The Yatra was aimed at preservation. Apart from that, it ‘s besides of import to look into the involvement represented by the Yatra. Despite a just engagement of urban conservationists, the Yatra projected itself as a representation of rural involvement. The yatra represented the involvement of those rural communities which have been on the having terminal of inauspicious official preservation policies. On a batch of occasions, the leaders were themselves NGO militants. Name callings of yatris- Nanak Ram, Sedu Ram, Prabhu Gujjar, Mohammed Khan and Bechain Das were continuously mentioned in grass-root degree meetings and imperativeness conferences. The fact that two tierces of the participants were urban NGO militants was intentionally ignored.[ 13 ]
Rajinder Singh and his NGO ( Tarun Bhagat Singh ) went a long manner to legalize the rural representation of the Yatra. He endorsed all the activities of the rural communities that were aimed at preservation. Hence like most other successful environmental motions this Yatra was besides a bottom-up attack with a strong grass-root base.
Even though a batch of attempt was taken to give the yatra a rural face, yet these local rural communities did non hold a say in the organisation and determination devising of the Yatra.[ 14 ]The leaders merely gave importance to their engagement and obtaining inputs from them was non considered necessary. Furthermore all the rural people were treated as a individual homogeneous entity. While doing the urban-rural divide, the differences in the rural population were ignored. This led to a class-divide in several small towns. The benefits from local entree did non accrue every bit to all categories.
The Yatra nevertheless did non disregard gender issues, the manner it ignored category issues. Though the Yatra did non hold anything specifically planned for adult females, it understood the importance of including adult females in the March. A big figure of adult females did take portion in the Yatra particularly in Shoolpaneswar. They were responsible for roll uping and selling fuel wood and MFPs.[ 15 ]The Yatra did portray a general consciousness of gender issues and voiced a demand to integrate them.
The Yatra took topographic point at a clip when several preservation statute laws were already in being. The Yatra demanded an amendment in the bing statute laws and policies. The aim was to do these statute laws viz. the Wild Life Protection Act ( 1972 and 1991 ) , the Forest Conservation Act ( 1980 ) and the Environment Protection Act ( 1986 ) more inclusive and participatory. Besides it gave importance to grass-roots militants and demanded that equal attending be given to both human and carnal rights. The cardinal focal point of the Yatra was to incorporate human demands into preservation. There was a displacement from buttonholing to grass root activism.
The participants of the Yatra felt that the rural communities were alienated from the productive resources because it was thought that their activities would degrade the environment farther. However the Yatra viewed them as environmentalists and wanted their inclusion in the legal policies and schemes aimed at preservation. They wanted a displacement from the state-led ‘non-participatory, elitist ‘ attack to preservation.[ 16 ]
Unfortunately, the Yatra did non accomplish what it wanted to on the legal forepart. There have been no amendments in the bing statute laws. No new Torahs have been passed. In fact, the bing statute laws are non being implemented decently. Wild life home grounds over the old ages have dwindled due to inefficient preservation policies and resources have become scarce. Peoples can still acquire off by corrupting the forest-officials. Although the Yatra was successful in placing the contradictions and loopholes in the bing statute laws and schemes, it could n’t truly make much to make off with the defects.
In decision, it can be said that the yatra failed in accomplishing its two fold aim of amending the bing preservation policies so as to do them more inclusive and in coming up with more effectual alternate schemes of preservation. It was unable to make away with environmental debasement and the disaffection of local rural communities. However, by stand foring the rural involvement and by doing an effort to come up with alternate preservation schemes, it has marked the beginning of a new epoch.