I am Jagnarayan Shah from Village Amelia, Post Karsualal, Tehsil Mada, Districit Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh, and I have been an active member of Mahan Sabgharsh Samiti. Since past four years, Mahan Sangharsh Samiti’s has been fighting to save our jal, jagal, jameen to secure the livelihood. Our constant fight to save our pristine forest has resulted in the de-allocation of the Mahan coal block. MSS has been fighting for over four years to implement the Community Forest Right. Finally the incessant hard work had paid off and Independence day, the Community Forest Right has been passed in Gramshabha with full majority. Henceforth, before using the natural resources for commercial use a prior permission needs to be taken with Gram Sabha. It is an important victory for us and we hope that MSS will continue to work to save our forest and right.
Kripanath yadav (Village Amelia, Post karsualal, tehsil Mada, Dist- singrauli, Madhya Pradesh)
The struggle of liberty and freedom was not an easy path for our freedom fighters; many lost their lives in this freedom movement. I take immense pride in saying that we the people of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti also fought the similar battle against the foreign companies to restore our forest, our livelihood. Despite the constant crackdown from the local as well as government administration, we continued with our ground fight to save our pristine forests. Many of us went to jail, suffered but never lost hope to fight and restore our democratic right.
Greetings to the listeners of Radio Sangharsh, I am Virendra Singh from village Amelia, post Karsulal, Tehsil Mada, Dist Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh). It is very disappointing to see that there is no provision of water at the Primary school of Amelia. The existing hand pumps in the school premise are not working from past four days. Considering the rise in temperature, it is very important to get these water hand pumps fix on an urgent basis. Hence, I am requesting the District magistrate to take an appropriate action so that small students do not face the water scarcity in the school. To know more about the issue call Virendra Singh 8120487266
Call District magistrate MR.Raghuraj Rajendran 07805 (234541) and firstname.lastname@example.org
Call District Education officer Ranmat Singh – 9425927763, 07805- 234716
Call and email to Member of Praliament Riti Pathak-9755653375 email- email@example.com
I am Kripanath Yadav, an active member and activist of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti. I went to Bhopal on the 30 anniversary of the gruesome 3rd December 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy which left the country paralyses. Even after three decades people are still waiting for the normalcy to return. The tragedy which slayed thousand innocent lives will remain fresh in the heart of the victims and the generation to come. The government talks about bringing development and if development comes at the cost of million lives then one needs to introspect the true meaning of it. Many government came and gone but the victims of the gas tragedy still waiting for the justice. 30 years back, government did the similar promise of generating employment and reviving lives of thousands in Bhopal, which the government is doing for Singrauli now. I don’t want another Bhopal in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh. India is bearing the cost of development in the form of deformed kids and a paralyzed generation. Bhopal Gas Tragedy has just remained any other solidarity opportunity for organizations and an error of judgement for the government. I refuse to let any foreign company destroy my pristine forest in Singrauli. Hence I appeal to my fellow friend not to support any factory without accountability in your area. We have already seen in Bhopal how dangerous they can be. Thank You!!
Kripanath yadav (Village Amelia, Dist- Singaruli, Madhya Pradesh)
I’m a member of Mahan Sangharsh samiti (MSS). MSS is fighting for saving livelihood and human rights, standing against injustice. Not only in Singrauli, but MSS is also working across the country, connected with other people’s movements and organizations. Our struggles have reached international levels now, getting stronger day by day.
Recently MSS participated in NAPM national meet for people’s movement in Pune, Saneji Guru Memorial, from 31 Oct to 2nd Nov 2014. From MSS – Kripanath, jagnarayan Shah and Akshay Gupta participated in it. We had great interactions, had learned and shared experiences with other Activists from different parts/movements/organizations of India present there. I am requesting to Radio Sangharsh’s Listeners to join us and be a member of MSS to strengthen us further and help solve problems. Our fight with continue!”
Call Kripanath for more details 8435770225 to know more about MSS’s experience at NAPM.
Umesh Kumar Shah, Student – Class 8, Saraswati Shishu Mandir (Village Amelia, Post karsualal, Tehsil Mada, Dist Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh):
“Greeting, brothers and sisters! I would like to thank you all who, looking for justice, record the problems on Radio Sangharsh and the officers who try to help.
I want to say that the main road of my village is in very bad condition. And our Sarpanch (village head) Santosh Singh is just a name. Even if he sees people fighting while he’s passing by, he ignores and walks away. If you go to Police station to file complaints, then the police asks for bribe. The people here are unable to bribe. And in that case, police simply send them back with a few words of consolation and advice, even if it is the case of murder or death, the investigations are delayed.
But, if we, the common people are denied justice every time, people will stop depending on justice by law and won’t go to police station anymore. Rather, the people would start settling the matters themselves. So, I request the listeners to help us get justice as we deserve.”
Call Umesh – 8120080491 to know more about the law and order situation in his village.
Report this call to the District Magistrate; Shri Raghuraj MR – phone – 07805 (234541), email – firstname.lastname@example.org
“I’m reporting from Gadakhar Market, Amelia. All businessmen and people are upset because of the coal dust by Essar powers Coal Dumpers. Essar power carries their coal from this market. Yesterday was Diwali and there are so much of pollution and dust in the market and essar is dredging the water. For last one week, all our food stocks and utensils are covered with black coal dust. Kamal Prasad Shah, Manoj Kumar Tiwari, Santosh Sharma and others called Essar management but nothing happened. I’m appealing to Radio Sangharsh to make pressure on Essar management to act on it.”
Call Virendra to know more about the situation in Gadakhar market 8120487266
Report to Collector Raghuraj MR – 07805-234541
“‘Jangal ham chodab nahi, zameen ham chodab nahi, mahur mati hum chodab nahi.’ We will not leave our forest. Until we are given our community forest right, we will not entertain any other conditions from anyone. Friends, we demand that we get our Community Forest Rights under Forest Rights Act. 2006. Those, who are trying to destroy our forest, should stop now and realize that they are doing wrong. and rather know how to save it.”
You can contact Kamla Singh to know more about the villagers’ struggle in Mahan 8359899684
Rambahor yadav (Village Amelia, Post karsualal, Tehsil mada, Dist- Singrauli):
Mahan Coal ltd was about to come in my village. Company was inspecting the mahan forest area to get hold of the forest.
But friends, truth always wins! We formed a people’s group called Mahan Sangharsh Samiti to save the forest. We have fought together and won as of now. The company was trying to acquire our mahan but we were firm in our stand that we would not give our forest and we haven’t! Now the environment is saved and everybody is breathing in fresh air. We don’t want to give this forest to company.
Call Rambhor to know about the prolonged fight by MSS to save Mahan – 9669889510
I am Kripanath Yadav, from village Amelia, post Karsualal, Thana and Tehsil Mahda, Singrauli district, Madhya Pradesh. I am an activist of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti. On September 26, 2014, India’s highest court cancelled all coal block allocations, of which Mahan was also one. For four years now, all of us who are part of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti have been asserting that the allocation of this coal block is invalid and today this has been confirmed. This is a big victory for us. Mahan Sangharsh Samiti, Singrauli congratulates the Supreme Court judge and also convey our gratitude to honorable Prashant Bhushan because he took on the fight for our freedom and won Mahan for us, fluttering a green flag over it. On this occasion, we heartily welcome Prashant Bhushan and R. M.Lodha. Zindabad!
I am Virendra Kumar Singh, from Amelia village, Singrauli district, Madhya Pradesh. Today in our Amelia village, 2000 of the members of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti are celebrating the Supreme Court order cancelling the coal block allocations. Thank you!
Friends zindabad! My name is Hari Dayal Singh Gond speaking, from Amelia village, post Karsualal. I am a member of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti and I am the head of the Forest Rights Committee. After hearing the Supreme Court verdict, I felt that something good has happened in our life. I completely believe that the truth always wins. The truth can get pressured but it can never be defeated. I am extremely happy and I wish that if in the future the government wants to organize new auctions for the cancelled coal blocks, they must implement the forest rights act is before the same. If that doesn’t happen, our fight will again continue. Zindabad!
SITARAM SHAH (Village-Amelia, Post karsualal, Teshil Mada, Dist- Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh):
“On 20 Sept 2014, Mahan Sangharsh Samiti member Sitalal Shah, Ramlakhan, Ramkumar and Shankar participated in People’s Climate March which was organized by organization 350 India. My objective of coming here was to tell urban people and make them relate to our pain and struggle. Climate Change is directly related with my struggle. Deforestation and GHGs from burning of coal are the main reasons of Climate Change. I appeal to Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he should also attend the UN climate submit along with Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar in New York. We should stop deforestation and start working on saving forests because Climate Change affects millions and many countries. We have already seen climate change effects in Kashmir.
JAG NARAYAN SHAH (Amelia village, Thana and Tehsil Mahda, Singrauli district, Madhya Pradesh) :
“I am a Mahan Sangharsh Samiti activist. I am an independent citizen of India. I have heard though newspapers and news that the attempt by the government to dilute the Forest Rights Act and not give the Gram Sabha any importance is being discussed. If it happens, it won’t be necessary to enforce forests rights laws and to obtain consent in the Gram Sabha before allocating coal blocks. This is a violation of the rights of all the people in India! The laws guarantee rights under the Constitution to every person because of which the citizens of the country are able to progress. I want to state that since generations for us the source of livelihood are the forests of Mahan, in which the forest produce is non-taxable. The people for whom the forests are a source of livelihood they have the first right to the forests. It would not be right to carry out any activity in the forests without their consent and it would also be a violation of their rights. To interfere with this, would be a violation of people’s rights.
Before the elections, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that good days are here. But it seems from reports in the newspapers that people who live in forest areas, who have their livelihoods there, it seems like their lives are in danger. This is a violation of the rights of Indian citizens. If rights are violated in this manner, then we will fight to save our rights and our livelihoods ourselves and I appeal to the friends listening to Radio Sangharsh, to try hard to save the livelihoods and daily bread of fellow Indian citizens. Thank you!”
You can reach Jag Narayan for more details at 8359899684
“There are many problems in our district like power cut, electric transformer doesn’t change on time etc. but here I’ll talk about the need of Forest Right Implementation in our district. Administration stated that villagers who have been living here since 1984, will get the land registration; but I would also like to suggest that we should start Forest Right Awareness drive among poor and displaced people of singrauli. There are rights for everyone. We have to understand our rights.
I am appealing to the new district magistrate that villagers should be benefited. Forest is about to finish in next 10 years. Before that, those villagers should get their rights in place and only after that, the GramSabha should be organized!”
BAIJU SINGH GOND (Amelia village, Karsualal post, Tehsil Mahda, Madhya Pradesh) - interview by HIRAMANI SINGH
“The company people come to us and say, “Drink liquor, eat chicken and switch to our side in the Gram Sabha.” We don’t want to side with them in the Gram Sabha. We want to save our jungle and our land. We want a separate Gram Sabha.”
People from company coming to villages in group of four and distribute liquor and chicken to some, clothes and saris to others – this cannot continue. I appeal to the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to spread this message.”
For more detail on this call, contact Hiramani at 8359899684
JAG NARAYAN SHAH (Amelia village, Karsualal post, Singrauli district, Madhya Pradesh)
“I am a member of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti. We are the ones who are pursuing a peaceful revolution to save their water, jungle, land, livelihoods and daily bread. Friends, we welcome the the Supreme Court decision on Aug 25, 2014 that declares coal block allocations from 1993 to 2011, a total of 216 coal blocks as illegal! Through this we realised that the truth can get upset but cannot be defeated.
I hope through this Supreme Court decision that all the illegal coal blocks in the country get shut down and this would be beneficial to all the people living in this country. And through this, the violation of human rights of children, women and people around the country that is happening currently– can be stopped and their situation can be improved so that people can better their lives together. Friends, zindabad!”
You can speak to Jagnarayan at 7566904239 and know more about the struggles of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti to save their forest from an illegally allocated coal mine
KAMLAJI SINGH (Amelia village, Karsua post, Singrauli district, Madhya Pradesh)
“We are residents of this village for generations. Our jungles and lands are forcefully being taken away from us. Our various sources of livelihoods are being snatched by the company.
Friends of the revolution, I request you to help us receive the community forest rights that we can claim under the declaration of the Forest Rights Act of 2006. Please help us get our rights. Thank you!
Vijay Shankar Singh (from Amelia village, Karsualal post, Thana Tehsil Mahda, Singrauli district, MP)
“I want to give this message through Radio Sangharsh that the Gram Sabha that was held on March 6, 2013 in a wrong and forged manner, be declared invalid. A new Gram Sabha should be held again in the presence of district judge or such higher administrators, so that we villagers can independently and peacefully put forth our matters. It needs to be ensured that there is no pressure on the villagers during this.
I appeal to all my friends of Radio Sangharsh that the forged Gram Sabha be declared invalid and those who carried out the forgeries be handed out strict punishments. Thank you. Zindabad!”
Call Vijay to know more about the last gram saha and the situation now, 8435637872
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.”
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.
“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
“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 : email@example.com . 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.
“Hello friends! My name is Vivek and I am speaking from Waidhan, Singrauli district. Today in our own country it has become a crime to fight for one’s rights. For the past 3 years Mahan Sangharsh Samiti and Greenpeace has been fighting for their forest rights in the forest region of Mahan.
At midnight on July 30, 2014 police again raided the Greenpeace guesthouse and arrested two activists- Rahul Gupta and Akshay Gupta. They also searched all the rooms in the guesthouse. When I spoke to them they said that these kinds of activities must be halted immediately because it is against the government. I felt as if I had gone back in time – two months back. Everything was happening just as it had happened before. The only thing that had changed was the date. I question, why all this is happening. Is it a crime today to save forests? Is it a crime to save our homes?
We met our colleagues after about 10 hours. Till then the police had not told us the charges for which they were arrested. In the evening around 3:30 we found out that they had registered cases under IPC Sections 353, 186, 294, 507 and 34 against them. These incidents call democracy into question and cause harm to our fundamental rights. I oppose this strongly and demand that our colleagues be released quickly.
Right now, all our colleagues are in jail and are awaiting justice in what’s referred to as a temple of democracy!”
“Hi! This is Sushmita Chatterjee from Greenpeace Pune. I have been working for this past one year as a fundraiser and I have been sent to Mahan for the past one week. I am here as a volunteer and since the very first day that I am here I have been seeing that a lot of issues are coming up regarding the upcoming Gram Sabha. Every day whenever Greenpeace is trying to go and talk to the people-the villagers, some or the other situation comes up by the people, by the company people or the police and they are trying their best to isolate us from the villagers. Yesterday the police came to the village and tried seizing the mobile boosters and solar panels saying that there were threats and it is military frequencies that we were activating there. So after such false allegations and harassing us for the entire day we finally come back to the guest house and by midnight the police comes to our guest house very quietly. A bunch of some 11 policemen were there including two lady police. They come and they search the entire house without a search warrant. As we all know this has happened before with Akshay. Akshay, Rahul Gupta- he is a volunteer and Vivek Goyal another colleague of mine, the three of them were taken downstairs and a lot of interrogation goes on. A lot of abuses were heard as well by the policemen to our colleagues and we kept a watch through the window from our room. Finally Akshey and Rahul were arrested by 1-1:30 am. It was not legal of them to come without a search warrant or an arrest warrant that too at midnight. Last time when Akshay got arrested it was around 12 again that he got arrested and the report says that he was arrested morning 7 am which is false. I am very scared what all false allegations they are going to put up this time. I am very scared very worried for them. We don’t know, we still don’t know what charges they are going to fake. We’re trying our best here. And each and every day I am just losing more and more trust on this system, on these people and how they are isolating us from the entire villages.”
Hi! I am Krishika Raina. I work with Greenpeace India Pune office. I am in Waidhan, Singrauli, MP as a Greenpeace volunteer. This is my first visit here and it has been a wonderful experience to know in detail about the work going on here. But yesterday, 29th July, 2014 was an exceptional day. I witnessed the arrest of Greenpeace activists. I had read about the previous arrests which happened in May but actually witnessing it was really scary. Even though we were anticipating the arrest it was still unnerving when it actually happened. We were given proper briefing and instructions for any situation that would happen but still we were not prepared well enough. I was asleep and suddenly, I was woken up by the commotion that was happening in the living room. When I went to check, I saw 10-12 policemen including two policewomen entering and inspecting the guesthouse at around 12 midnight. We had heard rumours that the entire team would be arrested so it was scary to actually face it. This was my first police inquiry of sorts. But only Akshay and Rahul were taken arrested. At that moment I had mixed feelings. I was kind of relieved that not everyone was taken. I was sad that two of my teammates were taken. But the feeling that dominated all was that of anger. That they were arrested on false charges and I could do nothing about it. I am using this medium, not only to talk about people being arrested for false charges but also to make people realise that it is high time to do something about it, not just to save our forests but also to protect the basic rights of the forest dwellers which are not being given to them by the administration. I also feel proud to be here and to be part of the battle and witness the struggles the people living here go through. To just so that we all can survive. I will definitely go back and mobilise more and more people about this. Thank you! Zindabad!
“Secretary Ram Naresh Shah asked for Rs.1000 when Dharmraj Agariya went to him for collecting Ration Card. I request that this issue be reported to the SDM (Sub Divisional Magistrate) for bringing justice for the poor villagers, the victims of these corrupt practices by Govt employees and representatives.”
Now to help stop this corrupt secretary asking for bribe to hand over Ration Cards to villagers:
Report this to the SDM – Ashish pathak, phone – 07805 (233225) ,
Report this to the Public Grievance Portal online form – http://pgportal.gov.in/Grievance.aspx
Report this to MP Lokayukta online form – http://mplokayukt.nic.in/forms-2.htm
Report this to Anti Corruption Bureau-Jabalpur at CBI, phone – 0761-2679222, 0761-2679111, mobile – 9425600091, email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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...