Charter of demands presented to all parties in Rajasthan for action by next govt. Tribal groups in Rajasthan have demanded that the next elected government in the State reveal the status of each of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with reference to tribal communities and declare their status targets. The activists said that no political party had depicted its commitment to work for sustainable development of tribal people. A manifesto for rights of the tribal population, residing mainly in southern Rajasthan, has demanded that they be recognised as “custodians of ecosystem, nature and traditions” and paid an honorarium for their contribution to preservation of natural resources.
Their environment-friendly practices were also highlighted in the charter of demands. The document was released by the Tribal Development Forum, Vaagdhara, and other institutions working for tribal rights and food security here last week. Vaagdhara secretary Jayesh Joshi said on Thursday that the manifesto was handed over to the ruling BJP and all Opposition parties for its inclusion in their agenda for the Assembly election. Sustainable farming Mr. Joshi said though 70% population in the tribal area depended on agriculture, which was primarily rain-fed, most of the government’s investment towards agriculture was dedicated to the irrigated crop area. “A sustainable integrated farming system needs to be developed for benefiting small and marginal tribal farmers. Besides, agricultural subsidies should be broadened to promote traditional farming,” he said.
A monitoring mechanism should be dedicated to the SDG index in the tribal village panchayats, blocks and districts, said Mr. Joshi. Besides, the next government should take serious steps for stopping the migration cycle triggered by lack of education and skills and large family size, which contributed to tribal people’s poverty, forcing them to leave forests and villages. Rajasthan’s tribal population mainly resides in Udaipur, Sirohi, Dungarpur, Banswara and Pratapgarh districts.