Chandrashekhar Saket (Vil. Suhira, Dst. Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh) says that though Mahan Coal Ltd.is trying to destroy and mine Mahaan forest, the people don’t want to give the forest. The forest is like a king for the people, it is feeding them for many centuries, their livelihood and rich source of life. He says that forest degradation will harm the wildlife habitat. He quotes the elephant’s longing:
“Jangal sab kat gaye,
Paani kahan se barse,
Bhar bhar sund nahane ko man tarse”
People are happy in their lives with the king forest which gives them in abundance.They will not let the stones of blasting enter their homes, will never want to let ruin Mahan forest for coal mining.
Kishan Dayal singh (village Amiliya, Madhya Pradesh) tells us about his life, dependent on Mahan forest. Tendu leafs, Mahua fruits, Bela and other forest produce so important for his livelihood – he gets them all from the forest. He reaffirms that at any cost, money can’t buy his forest.
Ravindra Kumar Gupta (village Karsualal, District Singrauli Madhya Pradesh) is displaced by Essar power. The company didn’t allot a home yet and he did not get his displacement compensation (all of which were promised to them while their land was taken). Ravindra appealed to the higher officials many a times, but no one addressed his concerns. Now that the villagers’ land, home, livelihood everything is snatched away by Essar, he demands his right and justice at least in the form of compensation.
You can contact Ravindra – 8889891199
Ranjit Gupta (Secretary of Reva Visthapit Seva Samiti) from Anpara (District Sonebhadra Uttar Pradesh) talks about the displacement in the region and the situation now. Government acquired the land in 1978 for a thermal power plant. Then, in 2007, Uttar Pradesh Government gave that land to Lanco Power plant for a 1200 mgw power plant. Lanco officially agreed in document with Zila visthapit samiti that, the company would give a permanent job to one person from each family. But till date, not a single displaced person got a job (whereas, people from various other places are brought here as employees in different positions). People gave notice to the District Magistrate and Lanco officials many a times, but there is no positive response.
You can contact Ranjit Gupta – 9161588535
To support the displaced and demand justice, call the – District magistrate – Chandrakant, mobile – 9454417569
and Lanco HR head – N.N Tiwari, mobile – 9628277222.
Gaiman kanaujia (village & Post Jhilbulban, Anpara) talks about the displaced people (by LANCO Anpara Power) and their problems. His family also was displaced. As per the agreement of the villagers with the Govt, LANCO had to give jobs to 50% of the displaced people. But, the Company didn’t give a single job to any of the displaced. People approached the Management many times for their rights, the jobs, but they were delayed and refused, causing a growing anger among the displaced. The youth is without jobs, the families are hungry and helpless. (Anpara, dist. Sonebhadra, Utter Pradesh). Gaiman, on behalf of the other displaced, urges you to build pressure on the LANCO Management, so that the displaced get justice.
Nandlal Shah’s (Village Suhira, Tehsil Singrauli District Singrauli Madhaya Pradesh) livelihood is entirely dependent on Mahan forest. He also emphasizes upon the diversity of animal habitat the forest has. If companies get the permission for coal mining, the whole biodiversity and livelihoods will be destroyed, there will not be any monsoon, the streams will have no water, no medicinal plants will be found and the environment will be damaged. Nandlal requests prime minister Manmohan Singh to stop trashing his forest for coal and ensure the communities’ rights on the forest. He demands investigation and action against the village Sarpanch as he organises Gramsabha without notifying the villagers and forge signatures to grab their lands. The villagers need a transparent Gramsabha to demand their rights to the forest and lands.
Forest Chowkidar (for last 12 years) Ramjag Vishwakarma shares how Mahan Coal ltd is forcefully trying to acquire Mahan forest for mining. Ramjag and the people sustains their lives with Mahan forest. The people and members of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti are relentless to save Mahan forest from the hands of company. The company also is numbering the trees in the forest forcefully against the protesters. Tehsildar said to the protestors that Mahan forest belongs to Govt and Forest and they would take the forest from the people by force if needed. Ramjag gets a salary of Rs. 2000 from the forest dpt, and he also expresses his need to get a higher salary for sustaining his family. Interview by Virendra Singh.
Contact Virendra for more detail – 8120487266
Baiju Prasad worked in Reliance Power (Singrauli) under Albelia contractor from Feb-May’13. He still didn’t get his wages for these four months (Feb-May 2013). Albelia contactor official Deepak Rai told Baiju and others who worked with him that they will not get their wages. Baiju requested for his wages at the contractor’s office more than 4 times, but Deepak tells them that they could do whatever they want, but they will not get their wages. Baiju is jobless now and in need of money. He appeals to Radio Sangharsh followers to spread the message to various levels to help the workers get their money.
For more information you can contact to Baiju Prasad -8889874112
Kripanath from Amelia expresses his concern about the injustice and power play of the company and police over the villagers. He says that the company (who wants the Mahan forest for mining) has totally influenced the police and through them putting immense pressure of the well being of the villagers. Police says that code of conduct is applicable in the area according to which 4 and more people can’t walk, sit, talk together outside. But, the company people stacked in cars are roaming around freely in the area, harassing the villagers. Kripanth asks for an inquiry from the state/central govt and get justice and equality in practice for all.
For more details from on ground, call Kripanath – 9753939429
Demand an explanation to this inequality from the District Magistrate – M. Selvendran 9425821181
Demand an explanation on how police is supporting this, from the SP – Shri Jaydevan A – 07805 (234601)
Anita kushwaha from village Budher (Singrauli, M.P) reports against Vyas Ji Jaiswal, Dhajandhari Kushwaha and Rambhajan Saket (Patwari), who (alleged to) have falsely registered and sold some tribal people’s lands to the Company. Anita asks the patwari whether he became a public servant for serving the people or himself? She also says that the government officials don’t do their job properly. Whenever the villagers ask the District Magistrate for Patta (registration) for their own lands, he says that there’s no such order for this. Anita asks, then how can he has orders to give away people’s land to the company? Anita is demanding for justice and inquiry.
For more clarity on the situation, call Anita – 8718939145
Ask for clarification on the injustice from Rambhajan Saket (Patwari) – 9754844522 and Dhajandhari – 9977739715
Demand justice from the District Magistrate – 9425821181
Lalman yadav and 3 others worked in Reliance Power (Singrauli) under Albelia contractor. They didn’t get their wages for four months (Feb-May 2013). Albelia contactor informed them that according to Deepak Rai (some official), the wages will not be given to them. The 4 workers requested for their wages at the contractor’s office more than 8 times, but didn’t get any solution. Now, Lalman appeals to administration, government and radio sangharsh to inquire it and take action.
For more information you can contact to Lalman yadav -8889874112
Chandrakesh Kumar Saket (Village Bandhaura) is speaking about acquisition of land by Mahaan Coal Ltd. He says that the company is taking over villages and surrounding forests of Amelia, Budher, Khanua, Suhira. Bandhora’s forest also is being taken away by Essar, but the village gets left out.
Chandrakesh says if the companies succeed to take over all these forests for mining, what would happen to the people’s livelihood (that is totally dependent on the forests), where will the cattle go for grazing? He doesn’t want to give Mahan forest to companies.
Radio Sangharsh is Greenpeace India’s decentralized project that helps the larger world discover stories from the dense forests. By digitizing the voices from grassroots, we hope to facilitate sharing of grassroots people’s life with the environment to the rest of the world. Combining technology with powerful social expressions, Radio Sangharsh aims to create a platform that will provoke and enlarge the debate around the right of indigenous people on forests. Read more...