I am Anita Kushwaha from Village Budher, Post Jamghadi, Tehsil Sarai, District Singraul, Madhya Pradesh.
I am an active member of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti in Singrauli and fighting for saving our forest and livelihood. I have applied for my passport as I have got this opportunity to address my concern of how these foreign companies are violating human rights and establishing and operating power plants. It came as a rude shock when I read how Priya was stopped at the airport. She was traveling to London to raise and address about our woes. This is an effort to muffle our voice and I am determined that I am going to oppose this injustice by using communication tools to raise my voice. This is my request to the listeners of Radio Sangharsh that the time has come to mull over that how can we unite and fight to restore our fundamental rights.
Vivek Goyal welcomes you to in Radio Sangharsh, In yet another incident of government clampdown on Greenpeace India, Priya Pillai, Senior Campaigner with the organization was stopped at the New Delhi airport, this morning by the immigration office and denied to get on board her flight to London. Pillai had valid business visa to visit London, where she was scheduled to address British Parliamentarians on 14th January on the rights of forest communities being infringed for coal mining in India. She has been invited by the British MPs to talk about her campaigning with local communities in Mahan, Madhya Pradesh
“I am shocked and saddened that the government has managed yet again to run roughshod over people working to protect democratic rights in the country. I represent the forest community members of Mahan and I was scheduled to tell their story on how the Indian government and Essar, a foreign registered billionaire corporation, are hell bent on trampling their rights and existence that have been guaranteed by none other than the constitution of India. Today my right to freedom of movement has been infringed and there was an attempt to treat me like a criminal”, Pillai commented.
At a time when the whole world is making a strong pitch to safeguard freedom of speech and democratic rights, this action by the world’s largest democracy is problematic”.
I am Haridayal Singh Gond and an active member of MSS, Mahan Sangharsh Samiti (village Amelia, post karsualal, tehsil – Mada, district- Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh)
I have applied for a passport but unfortunately it has not been processed. One of my colleagues Priya Pillai, who has been working on the Mahan issue for a while now, was about to leave for London, UK to address our problems about Mahan forests and coal mining. But Government did not allow her to go and has banned her from leaving the country. In Singrauli, big companies and corporations are trashing the livelihoods of villagers and creating problems for us. She wanted to address these problems but Government does not want people and politicians in other countries to know of our problems.
This is a clear case of human rights violation. In this era of communication revolution we can and we will raise our voice through the internet and will reach out to the world about our issues.
Editor’s note: Barring anybody from leaving the country is a blatant violation of her fundamental rights. Priya Pillai has been campaigning for the rights of the people in Singrauli region, Madhya Pradesh. There was no reason provided by the government as to why she is banned from leaving the country.
“Many heavy vehicles of Essar from different directions are passing through our village, causing huge pollution. These heavy vehicles carry coal. Dust and smoke fill the air, as a result, many villagers are suffering from asthma and tuberculosis. This heavy traffic is also causing road accidents.
On the other hand, as I reported before, Essar power is also not giving the jobs to displaced people. They had already looted our land and constructed boundary wall around it. People who lost their land can’t even enter its premises. They are paying only 150 rupees labor charges to labor. These labors are being exploited in the plant. Essar power has created many problems. They have also bulldozed small houses and trees of people who were living there for more than half a century!. Nobody is listening. Essar officials are like traitors, they are not listening to us. People are anxious and dying hungry. The population of our village is 5000, but only 100-200 people got the job. They have hired people from other state to work in the plant. I am requesting that the company provides the jobs as soon as possible.”
Call Vidya Charan to know more details about the pollution and broken promises by Essar – 9575118805
Report to District Magistrate Raghuraj MR at 07805-234541 and email – email@example.com help Vidya Charan and many others who lost their land and didn’t get anything promised in return – job, plot, compensation.
Report to Health Department and Pollution Control Board (M.P) about the coal carrier heavy vehicle’s causing pollution and adverse health effects on the people of Bandhaura.
“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
“Essar has wronged with me! The Company acquired my land (registry no 569-566) in 2008 and bulldozed it. I didn’t get the job, compensation and plot which were promised to me against my giving away the land. Many times I reported this to the District Magistrate in Public hearings. I also went to the company officials but nobody is listening.
Now the situation is worse and I’m dying hungry. I am reporting this to Radio Sangharsh so that the other people like me get the employment and compensation.”
Call Vidya Charan to know more details about this report – 9575118805
Report this to District Magistrate Raghuraj MR at 07805-234541 and email – firstname.lastname@example.org help Vidya Charan and many others.
“I demand that any kind of orders from Supreme Court and High Court must be made public via different effective mediums. Newspapers shouldn’t be the only source of such information.
The news of Supreme Court cancelling 214 Coal blocks, must be spread amongst people. Essar power is still illegally occupying 1.5 acre land in Waidhan. And the collector is not doing anything about it! One can’t file a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) due to lack of documents. Mahan Sangharsh Samiti should raise this issue in Legislative Assembly and Parliament.”
Call Bhagwan Ashray at 7746871173 to know more detail of the company allegedly occupying the land in Waidhan.
Report this issue to District Magistrate Raghuraj MR – 07805 -234541
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
“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!”
“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 : email@example.com
Anita kushwaha form Budher village (P.S.- Sarai, District- Singrauli) is reporting the atrocities of Vyasjee Jaiswal, a middle man of Mahan Coal Ltd. The company is constructing pillars in the forest for which it needed laborers from the villagers, but the people denied to work for MCL saying that “our livelihood is wholly dependent on this forest, how can we help someone from snatching it from us?”
MCL had no alternative for labors hence, Vyashjee, drags the minors forcefully from the village to the construction site and coerce them to work. If any woman is found to be alone in house, Vyashjee Jaiswal along with Sitaram Gond, enters the house and they beat & threaten the woman. To know more about the issue, Call Anita : 8718939145
Help the people of Budher by reporting this to :
D Kalyan Chakravarti[Supdt. of Police - Singrauli] Office- 07805 (234601)
Child Labour cell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s security cell & helpline: 09425841437
National Women’s Commission Complaints Cell:011-23219750
Shri M.Selvendran (IAS),Collector & DM, Phone-07805 (234541), 07805(244110) Mail Idemail@example.com
Inspiring share from Akshay Gupta about his arrest (along with 3 other activists Vineet, Vijay Shankar and Bechanlal) and the violations of law by the police in Singrauli! Police arrested the four activists without any warrant, didn’t tell what was the reason for the arrest and where they were being taken to! In the morning, Mahendra Singh (Officer in Charge Bandhaura police station) asked Akshay to sign false confessions and when Akshay declined to do so, the police beat him up. Two company people – Vijay Yadav and Arvind Tiwari sat the whole night with the police to file false charges against the activists. Now three activists got bail. Bechanlal didn’t get bail because police hadn’t sent his diary to Jabalpur high court. Akshay says that he doesn’t mind going to the jail again. He says that the time has come to raise the voices of peaceful protest louder, everywhere! “Ladenge, Jitenge”
Vivek Goyal (Waidhan, MP) updates us on a recent development in Mahan fight. Mahan Sangharsh Samiti has been fighting for saving Mahan forest and implementation of Forest Right Act 2006 in his area for 3 years now. This is in a crucial phase right now because Environment Minister Veerappa Moily has given second stage clearance to Essar Power; on the other hand Mahan Sangharsh Samiti and the villagers are strongly opposing it. This clearance has been given on the basis of a supposed Gramsabha on 6 March 2013. Around 1125 signatures from this Gramsabha were found forged. Recently newspapers report – District Magistrate M. Salvendran agreed that there were fraud signatures and he said that a fresh gram Sabha would be organized again. Vivek says that Mahan Sangharsh Samiti would do their best in this gramsabha to save Mahan forest and people’s livelihood.
Call Vivek to know more @ 7838034549
Kamla Singh demands equality in implementing govt regulations. He says that the code of conduct has been applied on Mahan Sangharsh Samiti (MSS) members. If that’s the law, then it must apply on the company (Essar and Mahan Coal Ltd.) and its’’ brokers. As the code of conduct would regulate MSS members natural movements around the area, it must also stop the Company brokers from roaming freely by cars in the forest and the villages.
Kamla called from Amelia village, Singrauli district, Madhya Pradesh.
To know more on this , call Kamla @ 9977527311
Jagnarayan (from Amelia, Singaruli) says how Mahan Coal ltd is taking the forest and associated livelihoods away from the people. Apart from the violation of the Forest Rights Act 2006, the company reportedly even threatened the Gramsabha to be on the company’s side. He asks Radio Sangharsh to help the people save their livelihood which is entirely based on forest. You can call Jagnarayan @ 7566904239 for more details.
Abhay tells us about his life after displacement! His family was staying in village Naguan since 1962. Essar Power surveyed his village in 2007 and acquired his land. Abhay says that his family did not get any compensation like a plot/home, job and other displacement benefits, as was promised to them. Now his family has no place to stay. Abhay and his family visit the company’s office frequently to get what they rightfully deserve, but no one listens to them. To know more, call Abhay Kr. Trivedi @9826080063
Kripanath tells us about the legal violations in Mahan to acquire the villages for mining. Essar power is violating the Forest Rights Act, Land Acquisition Act and Fundamental Rights in his area. Company is also influencing the Gramsabha by means of money and power. Kripanath is demanding the implementation of the FRA 2006 and Land acquisition act 2011 in his village. People’s lives and livelihoods are in danger. He urges Radio Sangharsh to amplify his voice.
Vinay Kumar Tiwari’s family was staying in village Naguan since 1965 but now they are displaced. Essar Power surveyed his village in 2007 and acquired land in 2008. Vinay says that he only received 1.5 lakh per acre but did not get any compensation like a plot/home and other displacement benefits, as was promised to them. Now his family has no place to stay. Essar power took their land by luring. To know more, call Vinay @ 9977658156
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
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...