|Issues in Gujarat
Tribal constitute about 15% of the entire population of the state and are mainly concentrated in along Eastern belt of Gujarat . The socio-economic condition of tribal have worsened in last few years due to rather exploitative forest policies of the Government leading to deforestation, and non-development of the tribal pockets.
Tribal who ones were integral part of the forest are merely looked as casual labourers. They are deprived of their rights to live in the forest, to sell minor forest produce and to cultivate forestland. Plus they have been severely exploited by forest, Revenue Department and police officials.
Due to limited livelihood options in their native place, tribal are migrating out in large numbers towards cities like Ahmedabad, Baroda , and Surat . They get engaged as casual labourers in road building, constructions, tobacco fields, salt making on peace rate etc. They are compelled to work at below minimum wage rates; live in unhygienic inhuman conditions in the crammed slums in the cities; their children work as child labourers and women are exposed even to sexual exploitation.
While several of our partner organizations and associates like Disha, Swati-Michael, Arch-Vahini, Adivasi Bhumi Sangarsh Samiti, Bhasha, Bandhkam Majdoor Sangathan, BSC and many others are actively involved in organizing the tribal communities, to speak out for their rights. However, in coming years there is a need for collective and coordinated effort that would influence the policy makers.