Working together, PACS-PHIA Foundation, civil society organizations and the Department of Welfare, Government of Jharkhand have devised a joint campaign to expedite claim generation in Jharkhand. The relevance of this campaign is in context of poor implementation of FRA in the state, attributed to lack of claim generation at the community a critical reason impeding the implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) in Jharkhand. The campaign commenced in the first week of June 2016 in 13 districts of Jharkhand.
The Key Objectives of the campaign are:
- To mobilize the Gram Sabha and FRC for claim generation under FRA 2006
- Empowering the communities and their institutions to manage the landscape for retaining control over natural resources
- Identify community leaders and groom them as Van Adhikar Mitras to facilitate the IFR claim generation
The campaign is focussing on those districts and blocks of the state where there is more potential in terms of forest dependent communities and forest area. The campaign involves 5 CSO partners have requisite experience of working on the issue and are being provided technical support by PACS-PHIA Foundation. The CSOs and their coverage districts are:
- EFICOR : Sahibganj & Pakur district
- NSVK : Gumla, Koderma, Chatra, Giridih, Bokaro, Palamu and Dhanbad
- zAMVAD: Dumka & Deoghar
- ASRA : West Singhbhum & Khunti
- AROUSE : Gumla
The Key Strategies framed for the success of the campaign include :
The campaign covers 13 districts namely Bokaro, Chatra, Giridih, Koderma, Dhanbad, Gumla, Palamu, Khunti, Sahebganj, Pakur, Deoghar, Dumka and West Singhbhum. In each of these districts potential villages have been prioritized on the basis of number of forest dependent communities. The intervention would cover 3000 villages in these districts.
PACS/Phia Foundation is leading the campaign and providing handholding support to the partner CSOs involved.
The campaign is being facilitated by trained individuals appointed as District Coordinators that are facilitating the entire process.
Around 500 community representatives (preferably FRC members) would be identified from each panchayat as Van Adhikar Mitras. One individual from each panchayat. The selection is being done democratically during the village meeting considering the willingness, ability, and potential of the individual.
Claim generation at the village level is being facilitated by the Van Adhikaar Mitras through the conducting of 3 village level Gram Sabha meetings in a month involving the FRC members.
The Van Adhikar Mitras are being hand held and supported by the District Coordinators who would facilitate cluster level meetings
Progress of the FRA Campaign
1. The district level consultancy meeting supported by government have been conducted in all the 13 target district of Jharkhand. The main achievements of the meeting include :
A common understanding has developed about FRA campaign among all the stakeholders, Govt. Department, PACS, Civil Societies, Gram Sabha, Van Adhikar Samitis and PRI members
A task force has been built of government department, civil society organizations and Van Adhikar Mitras
All the required support for claim generation would be provided by government
A common action plan for effective and smooth implementation of the programme is already in place.
2. Training of VAN Adhikar Mitras on claim generation under FRA, 2006:
A residential training of 2 days has been done in 3 districts Gumla. Khunti and Sahibganj. Approximately 125 Van Adhikar Mitras have been trained on FRA, 2006 on conducting meetings, filling and filing of claim forms, documentation and verification etc.