Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
3)Recognition of tribal rights over non-timber forest products (NTFPs) would accelerate empowerment of the poor and marginalised. Comment. (150 words)
Why this question
Forest dwellers are one of the most marginalized sections of Indian society. The Forest Rights Act vests a number of rights with forest-dwelling communities and one of them is access to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce. NTFPs have been shown to very effective agents of bringing socioeconomic development. The issue is related to GS 2 syllabus under the following heading-
Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Key demand of the question
The question wants us to express our understanding of the issue of access of forest dwellers to the NTFPs, the potential of NTFPs in bringing the socioeconomic transformation of the forest dwellers.
Comment- We have to express our personal opinion on the issue, based on our understanding and knowledge. We have to support our opinion with proper arguments/facts etc.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– mention the forest rights act, which gives the forest dwellers certain rights including rights over minor forest produce. Also, mention facts like almost 275 million people depend on NTFPs with a turnover of at least Rs 6,000 crore per annum.
- Discuss the benefits of providing ownership of NTFPs to forest dwellers. E.g increase in income, supplement in income, providing critical subsistence during the lean seasons, reducing migration from the villages, economic empowerment etc.
- Briefly discuss the issue of lack of proper access to NTFPs.
Conclusion– Mention the need to implement the forest rights act properly and with full fervour and enthusiasm in order to bring socioeconomic development to the forest dwellers and correct the historical injustices meted out to them.