“‘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
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.
JAI PRAKASH KUSHWAHA (Jhalli village, post Karsualal, thana Langadhol, dst. Singrauit, MP)
“On Sept 5, 2014, in village Dongri, thana Langadhol, Singrauli, a JP official has got a hole dug and placed coal in it to show the government officers that the coal mining is operational. After his saying so, the Tribals from Dhongri and Bhisaguda reacted strongly and asked the officer how come JP had ‘started mining coal’ when villagers didn’t get any jobs, plot, compensation! Some people started saying that the higher officials have accepted money and are getting wrong things done or giving clearances. The laws are not being followed by anyone. Some people were insultingly saying that the laws are made only for poor people. Everyone gives a hearing to rich people and only God listens to the poor.
You can call Jaiprakash at 7389779955 to know more about this discrepancy.
“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!
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’.
“Yesterday, Shivprasad Yadav threatened to kill me. Today another one, Bhola Singh stopped me in front of Dasrath Yadav’s house (Lalchand Sahu was present there) and told, ‘Your life is in danger, why didn’t you give your signature to Ramakant Tiwari?’ I told him that’s because I want to save my land and the forest. Yet again, I got death threat from him. I request the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to take this issue to administration and help save the lives of people like me under threat.”
* fyi-1. Ramakant Tiwari – CEO of Mahan Coal Ltd. (MCL)
* fyi-2. Bhola Singh and Shivprasad Yadav are known in the villages as brokers of the ‘company’
Now, call/mail to report this to the District Magistrate M Salvendran and demand an action against people giving threats to the villagers for not giving their lands to MCL. Phone : 09425821181, 07805234541, 07805244110. email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Jagnaryan Shah (Village Amelia, Post Karsualal, Tehsil Mada, Dist- Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh).
From 17 July 2014, the Company and Government are jointly distributing notice regarding the Mahua trees in the forest. In the name of this notice, Govt officials – Patwari, RI and Forest Munshi are luring the people. This notice says, ‘you collect produces from Mahua trees which are now under the area allocated to Mahan Coal Ltd. So, we declare xyz number of Mahua trees in your name as compensation.’ Tehsildar had sent this notice to us stating anyone having objections regarding this would need to raise so by 26 July.
So, today being 26th July, 575 villagers gathered at the Community Hall to submit memorandum of their opposition to this notice to the Govt officials. The 575 of us strongly opposed the notice and said, ‘because the Community Forest Rights hasn’t yet been implemented for people in Mahan; we don’t accept any such notices before that!’
I request the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to keep on supporting our fight, take it to different levels and save Mahan forest together.”
Call Jagnarayan at 9009075918 to know more about the public protest against this notice.
“On 21st July 2014, District Magistrate (Collector) of Singrauli invited Mahan Sangharsh Samiti (MSS) and Mahan Vikas Manch to discuss what the villagers want regarding the forest and mining. Collector told the villagers that they could get ‘mouza’ somewhere in the forest area and compensation. But, we from MSS cleared our stand on forest and rights. We told the collector that until in a Gramsabha we get our Community Forest Rights implemented under the Forest Rights Act 2006; we won’t let any company work in the forest, we don’t want any compensation against the forest.
Collector finally said that we could only come to a decision on this through a Gramsabha. In the Gramsabha, whichever side (forest or mining) the majority of villagers would take, would determine the future of Mahan.”
Call Hardayal at 08359820620 to know more about the meeting with District Magistrate.
“On 13 July 2014, Ramji Yadav, a company broker, abused and threatened all the villagers who are trying to save their homes and the forest. Ramji said that he would bring explosives through the ‘company’ and detonate them in the village and all the villagers would die!
Some villagers are afraid after this incident. I request the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to take my demand to the administration for a strong legal action against Ramji Yadav.”
Call SDoP Singrauli (Sub Divisional officer of Police) Mr. Parihar – 09479998884 and demand an action against Ramji and an apology to the villagers!
Call the District Magistrate and and notify this! M. Salvendran – Phone : 09425821181, 07805234541, 07805244110. email : email@example.com
Call Hardayal to know more about the incident – 08359820620
“On 13 July 2014, Ramji Yadav, a company broker, abused and threatened all the villagers who are trying to save their homes and the forest. Ramji declared that he would detonate explosives in the village so that all the villagers die.
This incident took place in-front of Shankarlal Shah S/O Lakheswarlal Shah’s house. The villagers are panicked. I request the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to take my demand to the administration for a strong legal action against Ramji Yadav.”
Call SDoP Singrauli (Sub Divisional officer of Police) Mr. Parihar – 09479998884 and demand an action against such threats to the community!
Call the District Magistrate and demand an action against Ramji and an apology to the villagers. M. Salvendran – Phone : 09425821181, 07805234541, 07805244110. email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Chandrika Prasad to know more about the incident – 08878014585
“On 13 July 2014, Ramji Yadav, a broker of Mahan Coal Ltd., abused and threatened all the villagers who are trying to save their homes and the forest. Ramji declared that he would bring explosives through Mahan Coal Ltd and detonate them in every corner of the village so that all the villagers die.
This whole incident took place in-front of Shankarlal Shah S/O Lakheswarlal Shah’s house. The villagers are panicked for obvious reasons. I request the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to take my demand to the administration for a strong legal action against Ramji Yadav.”
Call the District Magistrate and demand an action against Ramji and an apology to the villagers. M. Salvendran – Phone : 09425821181, 07805234541, 07805244110. email : email@example.com
D Kalyan Chakravarti (Supdt. of Police) :07805 (234601)
Call Ramji and tell him that you know what he is doing and he’s reported – 9617768677
Call Jagnarayan to know more about the incident – 07566904239
KRIPANATH YADAV, (Mahan Sangharsh Samiti) Ameliya vil. Singrauli dst. M.P :
“ We are against the proposed coal extraction plan in the Mahan forests. This forest is the sustaining force of all life forms in and around it and our only source of livelihood for 62 villages!
We are facing severe hostility because of the opposition we are posing to the mining project. The company brokers are people from our village only. They frequently keep threatening us with slapping us with false charges (mainly using article 376 of the IPC, besides others)! Only recently they got four few of our fellow activists (Bechanlal, Vijay Shankar Singh, Akshay Gupta, Vineet Gupta) arrested on false charges. Eventually we got them released on bail. But this ‘false charges’ threats just don’t stop!
I repeatedly appeal to the listeners to spread our message far and wide, among state, national-international governments, across different nations and places, every opportunity you get and to support us in our fight to save Mahan and ensure that the perpetrators are dealt with legal actions.”
Call Kripanath to know more details on this – 09753939429
Call the following officials and demand an action:
Collector & District Magistrate: Shri M. Selvendran – 09425821181, 07805234541, 07805244110, email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional District Magistrate : Shri Dilip Kumar : 07805234613
Sub Divisional Magistrate(SDM) : Shri Ashish Pathak : 07805-233225
Chief Executive Officer(CEO, Zilla Panchayat) : Shri A. Tiwari : 07805-233201
Supdt. of Police : Shri D. Kalyan Chakravarti (IPS) : 07805-234601
Virendra Kumar Singh (Village Amelia, Post karsualal, Tehsil Mada, Dist Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh) is reporting about how Thakurain Tai, a devotional place for villagers from many villages, is under threat of destruction. It witnesses regular worshipers and locals’ festivals. Now this place falls in the middle of proposed coal mines and would be lost if mining isn’t stopped. Virendra says that people are opposing mining on their place of faith.
For more details, call Virendra – 08120487266
Jagnarayan Shah, a member of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti with hope of justice from the new government, conveys this message to the Prime Minister, Union Tribal Minister and the Tribal welfare department :
“ I am a resident of Mahaan forest area. The forest is the only source of livelihood of the people residing here. It gives us Mahua, Tendu, Chironji, wood for cooking and supporting village huts, different herbs, medicines etc. making the villagers self-sufficient and with all the resources required for living. But Essar, Hindalco, Mahan Coal Limited and other corporations are trying to snatch it from the people. Bribed local administrators are thrashing villager’s rights everyday. Here, the Community Forest Rights hasn’t been implemented. Social workers and other villagers who try to protect these people’s rights are thrown to jail on the basis fake cases.
We are fighting non-violently to save our forest and we will keep on fighting for it because if it is wiped deforested, we will lose everything.
I appeal to the new Government to make these companies evacuate the forest so that we could live peacefully, ‘jisse hum sabke acche din baney rahen’. And I don’t only hope but believe it strongly that you (the government), keeping in view- the livelihood of the Mahan people, will make the companies leave Mahan. Zindabad!”
Help to bring Acche Din for Mahan, Call to Mr. Jual Oram ( Minister Of Tribal Affairs) 23388482(O), 23381499(O),23070577(FAX), 24625800(FAX)
Dr.Rameshwar Oraon Chairperson (National Commission for Scchedule Tribe) 24635721, 2462462(Fax) 09868180394(R) 011-26119495(R)
Tell this to Your Prime Minister Narendra Modi http://pmindia.nic.in/interact_with_pm.php
Mahan is one of the oldest and most important forests in Asia. Mahan forest is the source of livelihood of thousands from about 54 villages in and around. But Mahan has been in trouble because of already established power corporations and more who are trying to establish themselves wiping out the forest for coal mining. These companies’ existence and agenda made the local people’s lives difficult in every aspect. From last three years, organisations like Greenpeace and Mahan Sangharsh Samiti have been working to save this forest from these companies. Yesterday the campaign achieved a milestone for now – as M.P. Government ordered not to cut any tree in Mahan till October in The National Green Tribunal Court . A member of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti told that though its a temporary good news, but this respite brings new hopes for a continued and stronger struggle to save Mahan forest. – Report by Vivek Goyal, Waidhan-Singrauli. To know more Call Vivek – 7838034539
Mahendra Sharma (OC of Bandhaura Police station) warned and stopped Kanchan Saket (Village Bandhaura) from attending the public protest in Waidhan. This protest was held to demand freedom of jailed activist Bechanlal and raise voice against questionable role of Police and Administration in Mahan area. Mahendra Sharma (OC) told Kanchan to not attend the protest and that Mahendra would arrange for a Gramsabha to get him an agreement! – Interview by Virendra Singh.
To know more about this threat and false statements from Police, call Virendra at +91 8120487266
Bandha is a small village in Mahan forest area. Administration & companies are up to destroy Bandha and many such villages. The villagers are dependent on forest produce for their livelihood. To name a couple, medicine, tasty fruits etc. Jivendra Singh Gurjar from Bandha says, “we don’t need any companies here in Mahan forest and don’t need any help from them. We are happy with whatever we have here in Mahan.”
Jivendra asks us to spread the message nationwide to bring hope into the villagers’ fight to save their land.
Call Vijendra for more information on this: 9826616257
NCL is acquiring the 74 acre land in village Jodhgarh. Land acquisition officer has already acquired the land. People are suffering because of this. Ramkripal Gurjar (Village Jodhgarh, Thana Barigavan, Tehsil Deosar, Dist. Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh) is appealing for help so that they can stop NCL from displacing the people. He also says that if NCL is acquiring people’s land then they must maintain the transparency, give reasonable compensation and other basic facilities to the people.
Call Mr. Ramkripal Gujjar for more information- 09617878800
Call Upendra Singh Chauhan, Tehsildar, Deosar and demand info on what compensation would the people get from NCL – 07801-28244 / 09630252900
Santosh Kr. Jaiswal is reporting about people’s distress after displacement for coal mining in Muher village. Villagers were supposed to get a compensation of 17 lakhs per acre, but what they actually got was just 3 lakh for the same! The rest of the money (14 Lakhs/acre) was vanished and no enquiry has been done for this ever. That’s just a part of the misery. Muher is in Singrauli dst. of Madhya Pradesh. .
The company committed places for displaced villagers to stay. It’s been 5 years since then, people didn’t get any such plot of land and on the other hand mining has already started in the village. “Where will we live now?” Santosh asks. People in Muher farm to earn their livelihoods. But the crops are destroyed by the dust from coal mining. Water scarcity is severe because the mining blasts had sent the water level down. Santosh says, “the forest belongs to us and the companies are making money destroying it. While acquiring the land the company said that it’ll give us employment, but we got nothing! We will die without a place to live. Who will be responsible for our death, Shivraj Singh Chauhan or Indian law?”
Santosh demands an enquiry for both- the compensation and the plot for the poor people. To know more about ground, call Santosh @ 8435647153
Chandrikaprasad Panika tells us about the massive “Mahan Bachao Jansammelan” organized on 27 Feb 2014 Amelia village. About 1500 people from different villages participated in it to show their stand to protect Mahan at any cost! He says that Essar wants to acquire their forest and land for coal mining, that would be fatal for environment and the rich diversified habitat here. Coal is available only for 14 years. If coal mining starts, all the people dependent on Mahan would lose their livelihoods.
To know more about the issue, contact Chandrikaprasad – 8964065527
Ramlallu Singh Gond (vil. Amelia, Dst. Singrauli, M.P) says that a company is harassing poor people to get to mine coal in his area. But Ramlallu will not let go of the forest (he says, Jal Jangal Jameen) at any cost, because it is the source of an enriched life and livelihood for poor farmers, laborers and villagers. The coal resource here will last just for 14 years, but for this, livelihoods of one lakh people would be trashed along with the forest. To light up urban India with Singrauli’s coal, the people from Singrauli would be dead from fatal dust and smoke pollution. He appeals that the Radio Sangharsh audience (you!) help him to pass this message on to the local administration and State Government.
Jagnarayan Shah (Amelia, Singrauli dst.) tells us about the struggle to save Mahan forest. He lives in village area of Singrauli and depends on forest (jal-jangal-jameen) for his livelihood for generations. Forest is a natural resource that never stops supporting lives, now and in the future. But now, companies like Hindalco and Mahan Coal ltd almost bought the local administration, Govt officials and then together, they are forcefully implying their want (to destroy the forest by mining) in the form of torture to villagers. The Villagers formed Mahan Sangharsh Samiti to fight for saving the Mahan forest, the jal-jangal-zameen. He appeals to the audience of Radio Sangharsh to support them to save mahan forest and bring an end to the injustice and atrocity inflicted on the people. For more details contact Jagnarayan Shah – 7566904239
Virendra Singh reporting (Vil.Amelia, Dst. Singrauli, MP): Dated 12 Sept 2013, District Magistrate (M. Selvendran) called for a village meeting in Amelia (near Ujraj Khairwar’s house). Villagers in big number turned up at the meeting. Other Govt officials present were, Sub-Inspector (Bandhora police post) with his police team and the Tehsildar. District Magistrate distributed patta (land registration) to few villagers. D.M indirectly praised company and explained the company policy on employment. He said that an OBC with 50 dhismil land and a SC with 25 dhismil land, would be eligible for job in exchange of their lands. But, he didn’t for once, mentioned the Forest Rights Act – 2006 to the people.
Worried people asked for more time to discuss this serious issue. But the D.M refused to give any more time and said for next meeting, villagers would be informed 15 days in advance. He also told the public that Government hadn’t yet given the forest to Mahaan Coal Ltd. Mahaan Coal Ltd even didn’t know in which areas the company would be eligible for coal mining.
Virendra is worried about the wild animal habitat and says that government should keep in mind the rehabilitation of these wild animals.
For more details on the meeting and the present situation, call: Virendra at 08120487266
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...