BRIJESH KUMAR PANIKA (Amelia village, post Karsua, Singrauli district, Madhya Pradesh)
“People from the company come to us in groups of 3-4, and they tell us to participate in the gram sabha. They tell us that they will give us money, clothes and later, when the coal mines open, they will give us jobs.
I do not want to go to their side! There is no benefit for me by taking their side. I do not want to give them my jungle and land to them. I do not want to give them the source of my daily bread. I do not want to work with them. I want to subsist on my jungle and land. I appeal to Radio Sangharsh listeners to help solve my problem.”
VIRENDRA KR. SINGH (citizen journalist, Singrauli, MP) reporting from Gudhrikholi hamlet, Suhira village -
“Right now all of us, members of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti are in Suhira village, tolah Gudhrikholi. We are discussing the implementation of the Forest Rights Act of 2006 with the people of Gudhrikholi and are demanding that our request be fulfilled.
Besides this, there’s a primary school that’s herei. The teachers are never on time in that school. Till now, there are no teachers present. The children have nothing to do and are roaming around school. According to what the villagers say the school doesn’t even provide proper mid-day meal to children. Please appeal to the district official to improve the situation and make teachers available at the right time. Thank you!
Call Virendra at 8120487266 for more details on the primary school in Gudhrikholi.
Demand positive action from Sri Ramnat Singh [Divisional (Rewa) Joint Director & District Education Officer, M.P.]- Ph.- 07805-234716, Mb-9425927763
Report irregularities in Mid Day Meals to the Govt.
Mr Vijay Vaidh (Project Manager,Mid-day Meal)- 011-23765620 (Ext. 227)
Young activist Rambhor Yadav (from Amelia village), interviewed by Vivek Goyal (Radio Sangharsh team)-
Vivek (V): Hello friends! I’m Vivek, standing in Amelia village right now. As you all know, the administration has set a date for the new Gram Sabha to be held here. Right now Rambhor Yadav is with me, a young activist with Mahan Sangharsh Samiti who is constantly working to save the forests so that his livelihood can be saved. Let’s speak to Rambhor and find out what his thoughts are about the Gram Sabha.
Rambhor (R): Friends! I wish that the Gram Sabha is held in a peaceful and legal manner. In this Gram Sabha to be held between 16-23 Aug, my forest rights should be given to me. In this Gram Sabha, we must get our community forest rights.
V : Rambhor ji, tell us about the irregularities and wrongdoings in the previous Gram Sabha and the reasons that made it invalid.
R : In that Gram Sabha, 184 people were present. After the Gram Sabha was over, at midnight, people went about from house to house getting signatures forged. The Police Inspector at that time went about and got signatures forged. The 1125 signatures that was eventually listed they are all forged. I oppose this.
V : Thank you Ram Bhavar. As you just heard the previous Gram Sabha that took place, there were many forgeries in it. There were only about 184 people present in it and later it was made 1125. This is completely wrong and I too oppose it and I hope that the new Gram Sabha that is going to take place gives the villagers here their rights.
HIRAMANI SINGH GOND (village Amelia, Post Karsua, Thana Mahda, District Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh)-
“The company people told in the village yesterday that that they would distribute saris (worth Rs. 1000 each) to the women and in return they want us to vote for them in the Gram Sabha. They asked us to use the company for our benefit. I appeal to Radio Sangharsh listeners to listen to my Gram Sabha related problem. To win the Gram Sabha they are giving away saris and cash. Today also, they told a widow to collect her widow’s pension and she refused to accept it. Friends- Zindabad! “
Call Hiramani to know more details on this at 9753148162
RAMANUJ PANIKA (Amelia village, post Karsua, Thana Mahda, District Singrauli.
“The company is causing a panic situation in our village because of the upcoming Gram Sabha. What do we do? They tell us to participate in the Gram Sabha and vote in favour of them. But, we don’t want to go to their their side, because we need to save our homes and jungle. The local administration is also involved in it and intimidating people so that the Gramsabha could be in favor of company.”
Call Ramanuj for more details on this situation 9753939429
“The work that Mahan Sangharsh Samiti is doing is laudable and I thank Greenpeace for the guidance they gave prior to that. I am with the movement in Singrauli to save the forest in body, mind and spirit. My wish is for the residents of Singrauli to progress. Singrauli has become a coal center and the government of Shivraj Singh has cheated us because when Singrauli had been made a district, they had assured us that your land will not giveaway your lands in cheap rates. But this time in Surya Bhavan when we questioned them, they said besides the company who will care about your land?
Call Bhagwan for more details 7746871173
Priya Pillai and her puppy followers, can they tell us if they intend to develop the village? And do you know they have spent 20 crores on this campaign, these Greenpeace people! And they know that if they send women to these villages, they will be able to manipulate the simplicity of our villagers. Once the villagers are manipulated, it’s easy to incite violence among them. They have the capacity to break father- son relationships! We are educated people, even are children are well read and wise. Remember when the East India company was doing business in India. Under the pretext of business, they had colonized our country for 200 years! We were slaves under them. These people from outside are exactly like them!
I appeal to the mothers and brothers here, this Priya Pillai has never done any good for her own parents , what will she do for our betterment!
Priya Pillai, is a senior campaigner working to protect the forests of Mahan, and fighting for the rights of the local communities in Singrauli district, Madhya Pradesh, central India.
To attack her and her co workers’ intentions and hard work is extremely derogatory. The above speech is a false accusation, comprising of hate towards activists and NGOs who are working in the region. Additionally, comparing the activists and NGOs to colonial powers is also preposterous. The activists are no foreigners, but conscious citizens of sovereign India who have taken environmental protection and human rights as their passion.
The speech maker also accuses of using women as ‘manipulators’ to create tension among the villagers. This is completely untrue. Local people in Mahan, men and women have stood up for their rights, and putting the blame on female activists is only indicating the heat faced by the local politicians and corporate powers who are trying to fast track the clearance of this forests to establish the coal mine.
Mahan is one of the oldest Sal forests in the world. Companies in Mahan want to mine the forests for coal. The mining will result in felling of 5 lakh tress, which will displace local people who depend on this forest for their livelihood.
I am from Amelia (located in Singrauli Dist, Madhya Pradesh, Central India) and I am not aware of what is this Save the Amelia. Brothers, the ad which was in circulation, it was worth 2 crores. Who will pay 2 crores for an advertisement to save Amelia? I am surprised that someone from other country or outside the village is going to invest 2 crores in an ad to save Amelia. Ask those foreigners who have funded these ads, have they even bothered to feed people in my village? The collector gave me the info that the ad was sponsored by Greenpeace.
I asked him, who is Greenpeace?!
Then I studied Greenpeace, and concluded that Greenpeace was founded in England, and the owner of Greenpeace is a huge businessman. The founder of Essar power plant is also from England, but these two businesses have a rivalry among themselves. And Greenpeace businessman has s resolved, wherever Essar establishes business, they will oppose it because of their personal rivalry. The Greenpeace businessman is very clever; he sits in England, and has registered Greenpeace in India, in Hyderabad.
He is trying to save Amelia, but registered in Hyderabad? Did he not find people from Amelia to save Amelia?
Kerala is known as the state of hunger and poverty in Madhya Pradesh, one of the representatives, Priya Pilla is from there. These people are fake and vile. They play around with us like puppets. And the people associated with Greenpeace, mainly Priya Pillai, and her affiliated are sold. They have bought people in the village.
Mahan is one of the oldest Sal forests in the world. Companies in Mahan (located in Madhya Pradesh, Central India) want to mine the forests for coal. The mining will result in felling of 5 lakh tress, which will displace local people who depend on this forest for their livelihood. To accuse activists and NGOs on their intent about destroying these ancient forests is simply absurd.
The rights of the people in Amelia are at risk, and the Mahan forests does not only affect local ecology but is going to contribute to climate change. Deforestation clubbed with carbon emissions from the power plant and peoples’ rights is not just an issue for local people, it is about environmental rights, which are universal in nature
“Before the gramsabha, the Company is harassing us poor villagers. They are distributing liquor and showing money to the people for getting them on company’s side in the upcoming Gramsabha. But, I won’t go to their side! I appeal to the listeners of Radio Sangharsh, help us during these troubled times.”
Call Nandau at +919753939429 to know more about such glorious efforts by the ‘company’.
“Santosh Shah from our village brought a ‘Company’ official to my home. They offered me monthly Rs.500 old age pension. They asked me to go to their office and fill in a form. The officer said that they had the order from village Sarpanch for doing this. Santosh is guiding Company’s officers to find people’s houses in the village.”
Know more details from Sudama (one of many, whose homes are targeted for mining by the same company!) call +917748961417
“The villagers of Suhira have organized a meeting about Community Forest Right . Around 70 villagers have joined the meeting.
Here, I met 80 year old Babai Shah. Even at 80, Babai’s name is not in the Vridhha Pension list. He requested the village sarpanch and his secretary many times before to enlist him, but as usual, didn’t get any help from them. I appealing to Radio Sangharsh listeners to act on it so that Babai Shah can get his pension.”
Call Virendra for more details – 08120487266
Call the village Sarpanch Baldev Singh Gond -9165379426 and Secretary Sureshpati Kushwaha-9754224438 and ask them to enlist Babai Shah’s name immediately -
Call HelpAge India now to get Babai his pension – Ms. Sanskriti Khare – 0755-4296568,4078567, 1800-233-1253
Call Joint Director, Rewa- 240592, 242783
KAMLA PRASAD SHAH (vil. Ghora, po- Khanua, tehsil- Sarai, dist. Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh) and others
“There is no electricity in our hamlet from many years. Many times we have filed complaint and application but nothing happens for us. So, we pull the wire from a place one kilometer away from ours to run our water pumps. But now even that pulled connection is not working. We are unable to run our water pumps. I appeal that you take this problem to the MLA, MP, CM and PM whoever can act to electrify our hamlet under Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme (RGGVY).” Kamla Prasad Shah with Vipinlal Shah, Heeralal Singh Gond , Harisingh Gond, Ramkishun Shahu, Devcharan Shahu, Shivkumar Gond, Ramsharan Kol, Shivkumar Kol, Lalji Shahu, Anand Singh Gond, Kripal Singh Gond, Ramiccha Shahu, Bandhu Panika, Motilal Panika, Chandrika Kol, Shobhnath Kol, Captan Kol, Pinal Shahu reported from village Ghora
Call Kamla Prasad for more details on the problem 09165572255
Nodal Agency – Rural Electrification Corporation Limited – 011-24364178
“I have 38 dismil land registered in my own name. My land was measured and record given to me by the village Patwari – Dhiresh Tripathi. Now I got to know that the Patwari also wrote my land to Pandit (whose land was next to mine). Pandit sold my land to the Company! I have my land record with me.
I want my case to be taken to higher authority.” – interview by Hiramani Singh, citizen journalist
Call Hiramani for more details on this report +917697524846
Call/mail the District Magistrate – Raghuraj M – Phone : 07805234541, 07805244110. email : firstname.lastname@example.org . Please notify this to him and demand just action on such corrupt practices victimizing the oppressed villagers. Now.
BHOLA YADAV (Amelia village, Singrauli, MP) interviewd by Virendra Singh on how he was ill treated at the village health camp by Mahan Coal Ltd.
“I went to the health camp today. I got checked by the doctor and told him I had a headache. He gave me a syrup and medicines for the headache, and kept the prescription with him. So I told him to give me the prescription but he said that the prescription is filed there itself. I asked him to answer me if the prescription stays with the patient or the doctor. He told me – ‘No! The prescription stays in the office’. So, I said – ‘okay! No problem, Sir! Thank you’.
On the other hand, I also wanted someone in my family to get operated on for appendicitis. I spoke to Vijay Yadav sir to try and get some support from the company and he said – ‘First help me win the Gram Sabha and then your task will be successful’. When we have illnesses now we are told that we should help them win the Gram Sabha and only then will they listen to us. But this is against the law.
VINAY KR. SAHU (Ghora village, po.Dst. Singrauli, MP):
“I’m a 10th standard student and son of Kamla Prasad Sahu. There’s no electricity in our area. We want to study, but we can’t. We have to pull the wire from one kilometer away to study. Moreover, we can’t walk in this monsoon season because there is no road in our village. That’s why I’m calling Radio Sangharsh to take our demand to the PM, CM, MP, MLA to act on it!”
VIRENDRA KR. SINGH (Citizen Journalist) reporting from Dst. Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh:
“I’m at Suhira village now. Irregularities run free in the ration shops here! Villagers got the news that ration will be distributed at the village ration shop. Around fifty percent villagers went there to collect their ration quota but the shop didn’t open! Now, around 50-60 villagers are gathered near the house of ration shop owner – Narmada Singh. They are complaining about severe irregularities in ration distribution, opening of ration quota and shop timing. Help the villagers restore their rights by informing the SDM Singrauli.”
Call the following people to report this problem, ask them to make Ration Distribution fair and as per norms!
SDM Singrauli – Ashiish Pathak – 07805233225
Village Secretary – Sureshpati Kushwaha – 09754224438
Call Virendra at 08120487266to know more about this serious issue
“I am Priya Pillai, a Mahan Sangharsh Samiti worker speaking from Singrauli district’s Mahan area. You might be surprised to know that fictitious letters are being circulated in my name among people and the media. I am not connected in any way with these letters. These false letters are notifying the people and the administration that if the Rakhi festival celebration is not successful, then violence should be employed. This is while Greenpeace and Mahan Sangharsh Samiti don’t believe in violence of any kind. It’s evident from these kinds of incidents that the company is running scared and have stopped down to dirty tactics which is deplorable. We have filed a case in the police station against this and demand that the people involved in this be punished in the strictest manner possible. Zindabad!”
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...