Arpitha Kodiveri graduated with a degree in Law from I.L.S Law College, Pune. With a keen interest in environmental law, she went on to be a Fellow at the Young India Fellowship programme in Delhi which exposed her to multidisciplinary perspective on enviro-legal issues. She is an associate at Natural Justice, an international NGO working towards assisting indigenous people and local communities to assert their rights over resources.
As a Public Policy Scholar with The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, Arpitha will study the experience of Dalit forest dwellers in their struggles for recognition of forest rights using the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006. The FRA, 2006, was passed as a landmark legislation to correct the historical injustice that was suffered by forest dwellers in the exercise of their forest rights. It recognises the rights of these communities to forest land as well as rights to access and use forest resources. Forest dwellers, other than Scheduled Tribes, need to provide evidence of having lived on forest land for a period of 75 years to recognise their land rights. This acts as a hurdle for Dalit forest dwellers in their efforts to assert their rights over land which in some instances results in a sentiment of this Act being viewed as a pro-Adivasi legislation. Arpitha’s research seeks to understand this particular sentiment and the role that Dalit struggles played in the framing of this law. Her research will also attempt to chronicle the experiences of Dalit communities on the ground in the process of implementation of this Act.
Read Policy Report No. 17 here:Narratives of Dalit Inclusion and Exclusion in Formulating and Implementing the Forest Rights Act, 2006.