Displaced and marginalized: protecting the traditional knowledge, customary laws and forest rights of the Yanadi tribals of Andhra Pradesh

Most of the Yanadi community in Chittoor and Nellore districts are now seeking their livelihoods by getting jobs in other places and are living their life forgetting much about their age old rich traditions and customs. The net result is that traditional knowledge and customary practices that were in practice since times immemorial are dying out day by day. Once the knowledge and related customs disappear, many problems could be caused for the whole of mankind. It is time to protect community rights over traditional knowledge and related customary laws and practices and give back their rights to live in harmony with the forest. The very word Traditional knowledge and customary laws connote that they are gifts given by nature to mankind. In this context, this study sought to protect community rights over traditional knowledge and customary practices related to it. It was undertaken with the Yanadi community of Chittoor and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh , and entailed an extensive survey and research to find ways to protect their rich traditional knowledge, bio-resources and customary laws and practices that are intricately woven together.