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Mendha Lekha

Bamboo rising

Issue Date: Jan 31, 2013
Nobody in Loyendi village keeps track of time. But for its 150-odd residents, December 7, 2012, is a day to remember. “It is our independence day,” says village elder Petra Kanhara. On this day, the village in Odisha’s Kandhamal district got community right over 20 mountains full of forests under the Forest Rights Act (FRA).

Half-way to autonomy

Issue Date: May 15, 2012
The tiny 16-house village of Kuppaner in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district is bustling with activity. A few days ago, its gram sabha started felling bamboo in areas where it has community forest rights (CFR). Kuppaner is among the 400 villages in the district that have been granted CFR under the Forest Rights Act.

Another Maharashtra village demands community forest rights

Issue Date: Apr 7, 2012
These days all 225 residents of a small village in Maharashtra, Pachgaon, are busy slicing bamboo to make sticks on which incense stick material can be stuck.

Don’t say bamboo

Issue Date: Mar 21, 2012
In Maharashtra’s tribal district of Gadchiroli, naxalism appears to have a status akin to Voldemort’s (the evil wizard in Harry Potter books). The word must not be said by anyone, including government officials. Naxalites are referred to as “those people”, “inside people” or “bhai log” (big brothers) in the region.

Bamboo under siege

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2012

Bamboo still a distant dream

Issue Date: Oct 31, 2011
THE success story of Mendha Lekha achieving record earnings on the sale of bamboo ends just there.

Mendha Lekha gets record bamboo rate

Issue Date: Sep 26, 2011
Mendha Lekha village in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra has proved wrong the forest department’s stand that gram sabhas cannot manage forest produce.

Among the non-believers

Author(s): Rajesh S Kallaje
Issue Date: Sep 15, 2011
Recently, on discovering that I work in the forest department, a lady co-passenger in a flight asked, “Are you people really doing anything for the forests?” The unconcealed taunt set me and my friends discussing with the sceptic the scenario of green governance in India. How are we managing our forests? Is it time to hand over the forest resources to panchayats with the hope that they can manage better? Is the forest department guilty of propagating a management model that excludes people? Should we continue with the Indian Forest Service at all?

A tale of two interpretations

Issue Date: Aug 19, 2011
The fresh cool forest breeze and the greenery appears to act as a magic wand on the residents of village Ghati. Middle-aged men and women who just a few minutes ago had been involved in hard-core legal talk suddenly speak like children. Forty-something Gyaneshwar Sahare, who had been pouring forth on the grizly details of hunger strikes and arrests, now frisks around like a kitten. “Look, how many new saplings are there! Look, how the forests revives itself! Why do we need plantations?” he sings rather than talks.
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