A conversation with Shobha Tiwari: A champion of tribal land rights


Meet Shobha Tiwari. Though she hails from Chattisgarh state in India, she has lived and worked in Samnapur Block, Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh (MP), for most of her life. After her post-graduation, she was preparing for her M.Phil when she joined Ekta Parishad in 1999. During that time, there was a walk regarding land rights from Chambal to Raigarh in MP. She was a part of that for 15 days. During that time, she visited Dindori, a Baiga[1] (The Baiga is an ethnic group found in central India, primarily in Madhya Pradesh) dominated area. There she noticed that the lives of the Baiga community are entirely dependent on the forests.

During her interaction with the Baiga community, Shobha realized the extent of dependence the community had on the forest produce. Though the community had access to most of the resources to sustain their living, they still lacked resources. Grains, for example, were such a commodity. Additionally, they did not have access to education or credit, which made their lives difficult.

Source: The Water Channel