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Submitted by rkrao on
The tribal communities are among the poorest of the poor in India;they live in islands of abject poverty in a vast ocean of a rich forest resource; because they have no right to use it for their benefit;An innovative concept of joint forest management to involve local communities in protecting the forests and in return giving them regulated access to non-timber produce was launched in the 1990s; several independent studies have dubbed this programe a failure owing to bureaucratic shackles and the low returns the beneficiaries reaped; the forest department itself has admitted that waged employment has been the main benefit so far; the one ray of hope is that forest growth has improved owing to protection afforded by the community although the community’s poverty has remained unaddressed. Even where they are permitted to collect forest produce like tamarind,they get Rs.10 a Kg. while it sells in Hyderabad market today at Rs.100 to 130 a kilo. De-centralisation of powers,true and real local self-government,co-operative marketing societies are needed to improve tribal economy and reduce the influence of extremist elements.