Forest has been the traditional habitat of numerous tribes across India. They have not only been dependent on forest for their survival but also for their cultural and social survival. The British and later the government of independent India formulated forest policies and laws which excluded the people living within. Thus conflict over natural resources has become a continuing phenomenon in the tribal/indigenous peoples regions of India.
In recent times, the government of India, under pressure from international institutions like the World Bank and domestic corporate interests has stepped up the process of evicting Adivasis from their land. In this context, initiatives like Adivasi Mukti Sagathan (AMS) have mobilized the tribals and other sections of the society to campaign for their rights. In 1991, an effort was made in Sendhwa, Badwani district to organize people on the basis of common issues and the needs of the community and encourage them to reflect on the causes of the current situation.
Some of the people who showed interest were also exposed to mobilisational and organisational work in other states. This process culminated in the formation of Adivasi Mukti Sangathan on 15th January 1992 with an avowed emphasis on struggle and mobilization.
Since its inception in 1992 the AMS has been mobilizing tribals, women and farmers to tackle some burning problems of the area. From simple issues like drinking water facilities and proper running of schools, it is now involved in issues related to land, water and forest, exploitation in the cotton market and corruption.
This project aims at providing legal and rehabilitation assistance to tribal families evicted or facing harassment at the hands of the forest department. The legal assistance program will be open to all families while the rehabilitation assistance will be for 50 families. AMS will coordinate the program at the field level. In addition, AMS will also set up a primary level school in the Mandwa area.