Mumbai: Thousands of Adivasis gather to protest in Bandra against deforestation, issuing of caste certificates

Mumbai: Thousands of Adivasis gather to protest in Bandra against deforestation, issuing of caste certificates

Among the massive crowd, the majority of the protesters were women who have come there along with their children, demanding their rights.

Sherine RajUpdated: Tuesday, February 07, 2023, 08:02 AM IST
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Around 2000 members of the Adivasi community held a protest at the collector's office in Bandra on Monday. |

Mumbai: Around 2000 members of the Adivasi community held a protest at the collector's office in Bandra on Monday to raise their voices against deforestation and displacement of Adivasis from Aarey, including demands for the official recognition and issuing of caste certificates to tribals. 

The Adivasi members gathered from over 200 tribal villages, called padas from all over Mumbai and Palghar, with slogans like "Adivasi dada jaga ho aata, jaga ho aata" (Adivasi brother, wake up now, wake up), "Jangalacha raja adivasi maja" (the king of the jungle is my Adivasi). 

The protesters reached the location in buses and tempos mainly sponsored by the organizers and various non-profit organizations. Among the massive crowd, the majority of the protesters were women who have come there along with their children, demanding their rights.

"Caste certificate will help us for easy admissions."

Vanita Thakre from the Khambachapada in Aarey, was present at the protest site along with her family. Speaking about the demands of the Adivasi community Vanita said, "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."

Vanita added saying, "Our homes are getting wiped away due to the continuous cutting of trees for various projects. These trees are our source of livelihood, we collect fruits and vegetables and sell them for running our families. They say we will be rehabilitated, but where? They will take us away from our clean and green home in the forest and put us in slum-like conditions instead?"

Protest began at 10 am and continued till 3 pm

The protest which began around 10 am, came to a halt around 3 pm after the leaders met the authorities who informed them that their demands are being considered. "They said that for the caste certificate, they will set up camps at every pada and conduct the certificate registration. This is an assurance given to us, but we hope they will keep their word," added Vanita. 

The Adivasi community and the 'Save Aarey' movement members were seen protesting last year after the Shinde Government in Maharashtra reversed the previous government's 2020 decision of relocating the car shed project from Aarey to Kanjurmarg.

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