There are two stories in this chapter. First story is from Jharkhand and second story is from Mizoram.
In the story from Jharkhand, there is a lady called Suryamani. She wants to protect the forests. She also wants to protect adivasi’s rights on forests. Suryamani does many activities to preserve the traditions of adivasis.
In the story from Mizoram, life of people is described. It is mentioned how the local people try to preserve forests. There is description on Jhoom Farming. There is also description of division of land among villagers for farming.
It is a traditional method of farming. Many adivasis (tribal people) still practice this method of farming. In Jhoom farming, a part of the forest is cleared by chopping off trees. After that the chopped plants are burnt. Ash collected from burning is mixed with soil. It makes the soil fertile.v
Soil is dug but it is not dug too deep. Then seeds are spread on the farm land. After a couple of rounds of farming, the land is left as it is. It allows enough time to restore the fertility of soil.
Question 1: What do you think is a forest?
Answer: When plants grow naturally, they make forest.
Question 2: If someone grew lots of trees close to each other, would this become a forest?
Answer: If plants do not grow naturally, they cannot become forest. So, if someone grows lots of trees, it is not going to be a forest.
Find Out and Write
Question 1: Other than trees what all is there in a forest?
Answer: Other than trees, there are many things in a forest. A forest is home to many animals and creatures.
Question 2: Do all forests have similar types of trees? How many trees can you identify?
Answer: There are different types of trees in different forests. I can identify the trees of banyan, mahua and sheesham.
Question 3: Suryamani says, “If the forests are not there, we too will not remain.” Why so?
Answer: Forests help in cleaning the air. Forests also help in bringing rains. Both air and water are necessary for life. So, if forests will vanish, we too will vanish from the earth.
Think and Write
Question 1: Do you know anyone who loves the forest?
Answer: There is one gentleman in my neighbourhood. He is an environmental activist. He loves forests and often goes on a drive for forest conservation.
Question 2: The contractor did not allow Suryamani’s people to go into the forest. Why?
Answer: The contractor may have taken some rights to take useful things from the forest. So, he did not allow Suryamani’s people to go into the forest.
Question 3: Is there any place around your area which you feel should be open to everyone, but where people are not allowed to go?
Answer: There is a huge park in my neighbourhood. But some rich people have locked the gates of the park. They are not allowing children to play in the park.
Question 1: Who do you think the forest belongs to?
Answer: Forest belongs to everyone.
Question 2: Budhiyamai said, “Forest is our collective bank, not yours or mine alone.” Are there other things which are our collective wealth? So if someone uses more, everyone would suffer?
Answer: There are many things which are our collective wealth. Some examples are, air and water. If a person wastes too much water, it will deplete the groundwater. Everyone would suffer in the long run. If a factory keeps on polluting the air, everyone would suffer.