City Correspondent GUWAHATI, Aug 9 - “India has not been playing a proactive role either to recognise its indigenous people or to implement the ‘United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ (UNDRIP) for the improvement of life and situations of the indigenous people of the country,” Jebra Ram Muchahary, an indigenous people’s rights activist said while delivering the keynote address of the discussion on the “Rights of indigenous people of Assam and Northeast India: Prospects and challenges” here on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
A cultural rally being taken out on the occasion of International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, in Guwahati on Thursday. - UB Photos
In the city, the day was observed by the Indigenous Forum, Assam in association with the North East Indigenous People’s Forum and the World Barua Organisation in support of the United Nations at the Pragjyoti ITA Cultural Complex.
Anup Chetia, chief convener of the Indigenous Forum, Assam, said, “For the first time, we are observing the day with participation of delegates from seven north-eastern states. It is the first attempt to unite all indigenous people of the region under one roof. It is the time to unite all indigenous people of the North East to save our identities, languages and cultures from infiltrators.”
Chetia also demanded constitutional safeguard for the indigenous people of Assam.
Representatives from the seven states of the North East took a resolution and demanded recognition of the rights of the indigenous people by the governments as per the ‘United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’.
Speaking on the occasion, Ashwini Sarma, Deputy Director of the United Nations Resource Centre, Guwahati, said, “In Assam and other six states of the North East, there is much more to do for the development of indigenous people. From the UN side, we are ready to offer all possible help to your movement.”