Pollution and displacement increasingly threaten the life and livelihood-indeed the very existence - of several rural communities. Panchayati Raj can play a very important role in checking this, but this potential has not been adequately realised yet. A lot of work needs to be done to realise this potential of panchayat raj in checking pollution and displacement.

will the new forest rights rules empower forest communities? There are mixed responses to the recently released draft of the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2007. Announced on June 19, the rules are meant to operationalise the parent act. The Union ministry of tribal affairs has sought comments.

Thousands of tribals in Madhya Pradesh's Rewa district are on the run after they were allegedly attacked by the local administration and upper caste landlords. On April 19, 2007, tribals in Ghateha

on november 26, 2006, nearly 1,000 villagers of Chicalim, a village on the banks of the Zuari river in Goa, gathered for an unprecedented third gram sabha to vote against the Bharati Shipyard

Dhurli village, Dantewada district, August 30, 11.30 am: Armed police in riot gear stand in clusters around the walled compound where people of this quiet, picturesque village are to gather for a gram sabha hearing. They are to decide today whether they want Essar Steel to set up a 3.2 million-tonne plant on their land for Rs 7,000 crore.

Reportedly, bjp senior leader Arun Jaitley has contemptuously labelled Digvijay Singh s Madhya Pradesh government as ngo style . Why? Because it spends more on social deve lopment education

Maharashtra s decentralisation plan gets derailed even before it can take off