Working with indigenous communities

Why is this important

The objective of this project is to empower indigenous communities and safe guard their human rights as well as ensure access to and control of their livelihood resources.

The indigenous people belong to the non-formal sector of the Indian economy that depends on natural resources such as forest, land and water for livelihood. The tribal people have no property rights or legal claims over these resources.

The main issue for the tribal people is their displacement (forced removal) from the land due to expanding mega-industry projects like mining, land consolidation for commercial plantation, with denial of rights to use the forest resources for food and livelihood. Food security is further declining because of the pressure to grow cash crops like tobacco and eucalyptus plantations rather than crops they can also use for food.

An additional result of displacement is that most tribal women have become casual wage labourers and children are also to forced to join the work force, so these conditions have reduced the standards of education and health.



What is Community Aid Alliance doing to resolve this situation

The programs main objective is to identify and work with Community Based Organisations of the tribal people. These take various forms such as self-help groups, co-operatives, peoples organisations, social action groups of tribal youth and issue based movements. They enable the tribal people to undertake appropriate activities in the field of social services and food security,, local self-governance, public policy influenced by campaigns against evictions and loss of natural resources.. Each Community Based Organisation will have direct involvement in approx 30 villages and another 20 villages will benefit indirectly through the campaigns and sensitivity building..

 

Community Aid Alliance and its affiliated resource centres provide a mix of professional and technical assistance to the Community Based Organisations to implement the activities selected by them. The capacity building activities will mainly focus on human rights education, local governance and sustainable livelihoods.


I was working as a landless labourer when a Resource Centre for Legal Aid field worker came to my village and offered me paralegal training. The main issue I deal with is fighting to bring the rightful ownership of the land back to the tribal people, without which they can not earn a living from their land and are easily displaced. I am proud and happy that I am making a difference in a meaningful job. Sarswathi Yatia (24 years old), Paralegal with RCLA, Andhra Pradesh