Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA), which is affiliated to the RSS, took out a march here Thursday to press various demands including a crack-down against those who use fake certificates to hog benefits meant for the tribals.
The march was taken out from Jijamata Udyan to Azad Maidan in south Mumbai.
VKA activist Govardhan Munde said that thousands of non-tribal persons have availed of benefits of schemes for tribals. Fake caste certificates of such persons should be revoked, he said.
"The government has identified 11,000 fake tribals so far. We suspect the number could be much higher," he said.
Many of these bogus tribals have got government jobs, he said, further claiming that communities such as Manerwarlu, Tadvi Bhill and Machchimar Koli do not fall in the tribal category.
Other demands included expediting of awarding of forest rights, documentation of tribal arts, formation of a research centre to study and preserve folk arts and erection of memorials of tribal warriors of the past, he said.
Only 15,000 of over 50,000 claims pertaining to forest land rights of tribals have been decided by the government so far, he said.
Maharashtra tribal development minister Vishnu Savara met the protesters and assured them that the government was favourable to most of their demands.
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