Mumbai: Adivasis staged protests against deforestation, issuing of caste certificates in Bandra

The protest was held to demand for the solution of issues regarding land and caste certificates.

Mumbai: Adivasis staged protests against deforestation, issuing of caste certificates in Bandra

Over 1,500 Adivasis from 27 padas in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and surrounding areas participated in a protest organised by the Kashtakari Shetkari Sanghata. The Adivasi community, consisting of members from over 200 tribal villages, gathered near the suburban collector's office in Bandra East on Monday to voice their demands and draw attention to their plight.

The protest, primarily made up of women and children, was a show of unity and determination as the Adivasis demanded resolution of land-related issues and issuance of caste certificates. The impact of deforestation, another pressing issue, was also brought to the forefront as the protesters spoke about the effect it has on their homes and source of livelihood.

Vanita Thakre, from the Khambachapada in Aarey, was present at the protest site with her family. Vanita responded, "The two main issues are the deforestation and issuing of caste certificates. Our children are not getting admission concessions in schools because a caste certificate is not provided to us. We were not privileged enough to get an education but we want our children to study, we do not earn well but the caste certificate will help us for easy admissions."

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The protest, which began at 10 am and ended at 3 pm after the leaders met with the authorities. The authorities informed the protesters that their demands were being considered, and the Sanghatana head, Vitthal Lad, handed over a list of demands to the suburban collector. The tribals hope that the authorities will keep their word on the assurance given for the caste certificates, and that the government will set up camps in their padas for the registration of the certificates.

The Adivasi community and the 'Save Aarey' movement members had also protested last year, demanding that the government declare tribal padas as villages and provide basic facilities. The tribals also sought recognition for the lands they have occupied for generations under the Forest Rights Act.

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