© Kristian Buus
UPDATE: An international day of protest is taking place this Wednesday May 11 against plans by the Indian authorities to mine tribal forests for coal – PHOTOS BELOW.
Adivasi (Indigenous) people in the unique Hasdeo Forest in Chhattisgarh have been passionately resisting the destruction of their lands and futures for coal. Across central India, tens of thousands of Adivasi people’s lands and livelihoods are under threat from coal mining. As India gears up to increase coal mining to one billion tonnes per year, 80% of new planned mines are on Adivasi lands.
Protests have taken place in:
London, UK, supported by South Asia Solidarity Group and London Mining Network,
Sydney & Brisbane, Australia,
Porto Alegre, Brazil,
Protests are yet to take place in:
Washington DC, USA, at the Embassy of India, 2107 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 | 9am EST – supported by Hindus for Human Rights & the Indian American Muslim Council.
Authorities in India recently approved the vast Parsa mine in Hasdeo. Thousands of Gond and Oraon Adivasis, and Dalits, will see their lands and livelihoods destroyed by the mine. The existing PEKB coal mine in the Forest has also had a huge expansion project greenlighted. Both mines will be operated by mining giant Adani.
In approving these mines, the Indian government has defied a vociferous and determined Adivasi protest movement, which has seen rallies, marches, and vigils to protect trees from being felled.
Adivasi resistance movements across central India are striving to keep their forests standing and the coal in the ground. They are fighting for their rights to be respected and the law to be followed, but their leaders are under threat from police crackdowns despite their dissent being both peaceful and law-abiding.
One Adivasi man said: “We are facing a critical situation now and so we are doing an indefinite protest. If our lands are taken away, our future generations will lose their identity and our existence will be lost forever.”
© Kristian Buus
For more images, please see this collection.