In the colonial era, the British diverted abundant forest wealth of the nation to meet their economic needs. While procedure for settlement of rights was provided under statutes such as the Indian Forest Act, 1927, these were hardly followed.
As a result, tribal and forest-dwelling communities, who had been living within the forests in harmony with the environment and the ecosystem, continued to live inside the forests in insecurity, a situation which continued even after independence as they were marginalised.
The symbiotic relationship between forests and forest-dwelling communities found recognition in the National Forest Policy, 1988. The policy called for the need to associate tribal people in the protection, regeneration and development of forests.
The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was enacted to protect the marginalised socio-economic class of citizens and balance the right to environment with their right to life and livelihood.
This film traces the lives of Mala and Negi and illustrates the different events that finally lead to the need for the Forest Rights Act of 2006.
This film was made to add to conversations and briefly give an introduction to the importance of the Forest Rights Act to the Scheduled Tribe and Forest Dwelling communities of Himachal Pradesh.
Director: Sabari Venu