Has globalisation's impacts felt in the areas of land, water and forests (Jal, Jungle aur Jameen) ?
Has globalisation affected governance? Were its impacts felt in the areas of land, water and forests? Is Orissa experiencing the ripples of 'globalisation after-shocks' following the industrial renaissance? In order to have a 'deliberation forum' on these issues among civil society partners involved in development process, a state-level consultation on 'Governance failure in Orissa: People's right to land, water and forest' has been held here.
The executive director of Pune-based National Centre of Advocacy Studies (NCAS) Amitabh Behar said in fact, a detailed three-year study was conducted earlier in the central adivasi belt comprising regions of Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra by NCAS and its regional partners.
Also some specific studies involving Orissa were done relating to globalisation and its impact which had shown thatlivelihood options of the common people are being snatched away by these forces and the public ownership of land is being transferred to private hands, he added.
The consultation was jointly organised by NCAS, Manav Adhikar Seva Samiti (Mass), Sambalpur, and Network for Social Accountability (NSA), Bhubaneswar..
Ranjan Panda from Mass and Siba Shankar Mohanty from NSA spoke on the adverse impact of market-driven liberalisation policies and how the Government has failed in securing livelihood for the poor and marginalised.
Activist Prafulla Samantra said socio-economic justice is interlinked and the right for water, land and forest is not confined to economic rights.
While Sanjay Patnaik from the Regional Centre for Development Cooperation pointed out that the consultative process for policy making is almost 'zero' in governance in Orissa and only happens if a donor agency asks for inclusion of a civil society body. Calling for a monitoring of rights and livelihood by panchayati raj institutions, he said there areno 'anchoring agencies'for this.
''On the other hand, some government-backed NGOs are there to work for the system as they enjoy immunity from governance,'' he alleged adding there is a huge gap between the government's forest policies and industrial resolution which has become a 'trap' for the common people.
Land rights activist Gadadhar Paradhan said social workers must understand the scope of law and fight for justice. Giving an example of a widow 'Shanti' from Junagarh in Kalahandi, he said people must take the initiative to participate in governance and NGOs must help them to be ready for it.
Two booklets published by NCAS — one in Oriya and the other in English — were also released. Writer Bibhuti Patnaik, educationist Basudeb Sahu, activist Prafulla Patnaik and State Information Commissioner Jagadananda were present.
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