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What was the difference between protection of forests by the tribal people and by the Forest Department?
The tribal people treated forests as their own, considering it to be a sacred land. They protected forests by ensuring regeneration of trees as they cleared plots of land for podu cultivation, thus, using it without causing damage.
However, the steps taken to protect forests by the Forest Department classified forests into two categories i.e. ‘Reserved’ and ‘Protected’ forests without taking account of the agricultural practices of the tribals. These steps severely affected the lives of the tribal people, restricting their livelihood and rendering them homeless.
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