Call to come together for Land Rights

6 February 2012, Balgarh

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Balgarh was the first stop on February 6 where a rally was organized by the Ekta Parishad and its allies. Rally started from Kumari Chauk and ended at Nadighosh town hall, where around 300 men and women had gathered to participate in the public hearing. In this hearing, leaders of Sabar community, Shri Raghuparida, Suman Chhotsay, Akshaya Patnayak, Purnoo Bhai and Banwali Sahu shared that obtaining caste certificate is the biggest problem for the Sabar community in the area. They further shared that due to non availability of caste certificate, they are not able to get the benefit of FRA and other govt. schemes. As a result, their identity and the future of their children is in dark. Sabar community was earlier known as Neelmadhav, a servant of Lord Jagannath jee. Presentl y, people of this community are also known as Savar, Soubar, Bauri and Shahar. They have submitted an application in Court, seeking recognition as tribal community which is pending in Delhi High Court. Shri Basant Bhai shared that they collect minor forest produce for their livelihood but this is disallowed by the forest department. Shri Akshay Patnayak said that Jan Satyagarh yatra is for all the marginalized like us and we therefore, support of this yatra.

Next stop of the Yatra was Bhubneshwar, where 50 organisations jointly organised a meeting at the Lohiya Academy to discuss the issue of land rights and to welcome and support the Samwad yatra. Shri Rajagopal urged all the participants to join the movement for the rights of landless and marginalized by sidelining their ideological differences and to put pressure on the government. Shri Manoj while sharing his views on the occasion said that though political parties may have many differences of opinion on the issues, they are united on few issues but ther e is a lack of coordination and agreement among the civil society on common issues due to which we lag behind. He also pointed out that Odisha civil society does not have able leadership due to which, the civil society is not able to come together to take peoples’ issues forward. Ms. Das shared that civil society organisations will not be enough to bring about this change and there is a need to contact and dialogue with sensitive officials, media personnel, and students. At the end, all participants extended their support to the Jan Satyagraha Aandolan in voice vote

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