I am Vidhya Chanran Mishra from Village Suhira, Post Karsualal, Tehsil Mada, District Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh. I have worked Essar Power in Badhora, Singrauli for six months and left in distress. Though my working hours were eight hours per day but I regularly worked for twelve hours and I was paid around 6,000 on the basis of eight hours. I have never been paid overtime. I have raised this issue and also given in writing seeking my compensation for extra time but it’s of no use. As evidence, I have the photocopy of the gate pass which can establish the number of hours that I had put in at work. They also exploit their workers by paying less money than the government fixed standard. The workers are paid Rs 150-160 for 8 hours where in the government fixed wage is Rs 300 for 8 hours. This is my request and appeal to the listeners of Radio Sangharsh, that this project must be shut down and proper wage compensation has to be made to all the workers.
To know more about the issue call Vidhya Charan Mishra- 7772083490
Call District Magistrate- 07805 – 234541 email- firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Labour Commissioner K.C. Gupta I.A.S.- 07312432822 email – email@example.com
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.
Jagnarayan Shah (Village Amelia, Post Karsualal, Tehsil Mada, Dist- Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh)
Healthy environment is the sign of a healthy nation. Greenpeace India is a credible organization working towards to preserve and save our pristine forests and providing sustainable energy solution. The recent clampdown by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Greenpeace India by blocking its bank accounts and suspending its registration is appalling. I request to Home Minister Rajnath Singh to revoke this order so that Greenpeace can continue to work for our environment.
Call him to know more- 7566904239
Greetings to the listeners of Radio Sangharsh. In the landmark judgement by the Delhi High Court reinstated the faith of its citizens in democracy. Delhi High Court quashed the look out circular issued against the Greenpeace Activist Priya Pillai. The high court also directed the authorities to expunge endorsements made while offloading Priya from a flight to London by immigration officials on January 11. In the judgement court also stated that “you cannot muzzle dissent in a democracy”. The government failed to provide any evidence to substantiate its claim that Priya was working against the national interest. It was argued by the senior advocate Indira Jaisingh, who appeared for Priya that the Look out circular was issued without any authority of law. Jaisingh also said that it was a great day for India. The right to dissent has been raised to the level of constitutional right.
It is a great moment for Greenpeace India, welcoming the court’s decision as a vindication of the group’s legitimacy and validity of its campaigns for the rights of people to their land and forests, for clean energy, a health environment and to hold corporations and the government accountable. Priya said that “we are relieved that the court has cracked down on this undemocratic abuse of power by the government. Big win for people who dare to have a different dream of development which may not coincide with the dream of the government.”
Greetings I am Vivek Goyal, I welcome you to Radio Sangharsh. It seems the whole world is confused about fundamental rights. Democracy is shrinking in India and we saw a great example of it at Delhi international airport on 11 January when the government stopped Greenpeace India senior activist Priya Pillai to fly to London. Let’s listen what Priya says on it.
When I reached the airport, immigration officers stopped me and said you can’t leave country because your name is in the government database. I was going to London because Essar Energy is registered in London. It is same the company which got the second stage clearance for coal mining on basis of forged Gramsabha in Mahan, Madhya Pradesh. I was about to meet members of the parliament in London and talk about these human rights violation. It is a clear violation of human rights especially those who live in Mahan region. I oppose this move. We will continue this fight in any situation, whether the government or any corporate tries to stop us.
So Priya Pillai said it is act of human rights violation. Her passport was stamped with the word “offload” which will be problematic for her in future.
I am Jayaprakash (Village Jhalri, Thana Langhadol, Singrauli),The recent crackdown by the Government of India on the Activist Priya Pilliai is a clear violation of the fundamental rights of an individual. Priya is fighting for the rights of country’s tribal community. She is fighting to save Mahan, which is one of the oldest and largest Sal forests in Asia. This move by the government is in favor of the foreign companies not for the local communities dependent on the forest for their livelihoods and the forest which is also home to several rare and endangered species. Essar Power has violated several rules here in Singrauli by acquiring fake signatures, by forging 6th March 2013 Gram Sabha. Essar Power forged the signatures of people who are even dead or in jail. As Priya Pillai has been fighting this battle since 2011 in Mahan, she was invited by the British Parliamentarians to address the issues as Essar is registered in London. She was “Offload” at immigration at Delhi International Airport on 11th January by without giving any legitimate reasons. We oppose this and insist listeners of Radio Sangharsh to help!
“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 – firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
“‘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
“ There is Garra River between Raila and Karsualal which is very dangerous. Everyday people fall in to it resulting fracture and other kinds of injuries. Many times administration brings work order on it but nothing happens. In rainy season, the river gets flooded which damages a lot. A bridge must be constructed on this river because our health center is based in Chaura. Now we have to travel a lot to reach there. If the bridge is constructed, then this distance would be around 4 km shorter. I demand from the admininstration that they construct the bridge for the people.”
You can reach Bhagwan Ashray at 7746871173
Notify the PWD dpt for the need of the bridge , S.K.A Zaidi- 07662-25520007662-255201 , email -email@example.com
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.
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
“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!”
“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!”
“I know that you all are doing a fantastic work in Mahan to save the forest. We, the citizens are watching closely your fight and we want to extend our hands of support from Delhi to you all! Whatever hard work you are putting in to saving your forest, will be successful and we will help as much as we can to amplify your voices.”
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
Ajay Gujjar (Vil. PO – Bandha, Singrauli district) is reporting that someone took 50 cattle from his village to sell in the haat (market). He called the police on the two numbers (given on the information signboard) to complain about this but both the numbers were switched off. He does not know whom to contact and hence is requesting the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to help him.
Call Ajay for more informations: 9753495156
Notify this to the SP, D Kalyan Chakravarti(IPS)- Office- 07805 (234601)
Notify this to the Collector, M.Selvendran (IAS), Phone-07805 (234541), 07805(244110) Mail Idfirstname.lastname@example.org
Virendra Singh (a citizen journalist) is reporting about the Tendu leaf bonus. He tells us that in Amelia, Suhira and Bandhaura, the villagers did not get their Tendu-bonus from 2012; whereas the people in other villages nearby have received good amount of bonus. He is demanding distribution of the pending bonus from forest department and DFO S.K. Singh.
Ask the DFO S.K. Singh (phone - 9424793525) to take action on this issue.
You can call Virendra for more details in 08120487266
Chandrashekhar Saket (Vil. Suhira, Dst. Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh) says that though Mahan Coal Ltd.is trying to destroy and mine Mahaan forest, the people don’t want to give the forest. The forest is like a king for the people, it is feeding them for many centuries, their livelihood and rich source of life. He says that forest degradation will harm the wildlife habitat. He quotes the elephant’s longing:
“Jangal sab kat gaye,
Paani kahan se barse,
Bhar bhar sund nahane ko man tarse”
People are happy in their lives with the king forest which gives them in abundance.They will not let the stones of blasting enter their homes, will never want to let ruin Mahan forest for coal mining.
Kishan Dayal singh (village Amiliya, Madhya Pradesh) tells us about his life, dependent on Mahan forest. Tendu leafs, Mahua fruits, Bela and other forest produce so important for his livelihood – he gets them all from the forest. He reaffirms that at any cost, money can’t buy his forest.
Ravindra Kumar Gupta (village Karsualal, District Singrauli Madhya Pradesh) is displaced by Essar power. The company didn’t allot a home yet and he did not get his displacement compensation (all of which were promised to them while their land was taken). Ravindra appealed to the higher officials many a times, but no one addressed his concerns. Now that the villagers’ land, home, livelihood everything is snatched away by Essar, he demands his right and justice at least in the form of compensation.
You can contact Ravindra – 8889891199
Gaiman kanaujia (village & Post Jhilbulban, Anpara) talks about the displaced people (by LANCO Anpara Power) and their problems. His family also was displaced. As per the agreement of the villagers with the Govt, LANCO had to give jobs to 50% of the displaced people. But, the Company didn’t give a single job to any of the displaced. People approached the Management many times for their rights, the jobs, but they were delayed and refused, causing a growing anger among the displaced. The youth is without jobs, the families are hungry and helpless. (Anpara, dist. Sonebhadra, Utter Pradesh). Gaiman, on behalf of the other displaced, urges you to build pressure on the LANCO Management, so that the displaced get justice.
Nandlal Shah’s (Village Suhira, Tehsil Singrauli District Singrauli Madhaya Pradesh) livelihood is entirely dependent on Mahan forest. He also emphasizes upon the diversity of animal habitat the forest has. If companies get the permission for coal mining, the whole biodiversity and livelihoods will be destroyed, there will not be any monsoon, the streams will have no water, no medicinal plants will be found and the environment will be damaged. Nandlal requests prime minister Manmohan Singh to stop trashing his forest for coal and ensure the communities’ rights on the forest. He demands investigation and action against the village Sarpanch as he organises Gramsabha without notifying the villagers and forge signatures to grab their lands. The villagers need a transparent Gramsabha to demand their rights to the forest and lands.
Kripanath from Amelia expresses his concern about the injustice and power play of the company and police over the villagers. He says that the company (who wants the Mahan forest for mining) has totally influenced the police and through them putting immense pressure of the well being of the villagers. Police says that code of conduct is applicable in the area according to which 4 and more people can’t walk, sit, talk together outside. But, the company people stacked in cars are roaming around freely in the area, harassing the villagers. Kripanth asks for an inquiry from the state/central govt and get justice and equality in practice for all.
For more details from on ground, call Kripanath – 9753939429
Demand an explanation to this inequality from the District Magistrate – M. Selvendran 9425821181
Demand an explanation on how police is supporting this, from the SP – Shri Jaydevan A – 07805 (234601)
J.M. Rangeela (District Bokaro, Jharkhand) is reporting about the bad condition of the houses and Govt neglect towards the Birhor tribal community living in village Dongri, Bihar (Block Gomia, District Bokaro, Jharkhand). There are 89 people from 21 families are living there. Their homes are in very shabby condition which can collapse any time. Governments is said have spent lakhs for improving tribal people’s lives, but here, there is no sign of welfare currently. Government built their house in 1989-90 but now their homes are in such bad conditions that they can collapse anytime. They are also not getting full ration, at least 2 Kgs less rice than what they are supposed to get from Govt. Lakhan Mahato, President of Kishan Sabha and secretory Vijay Mahato have informed the block offices about these issues, but government official looks busy in other work nobody seems to have any concerns or time for the Birhor people. The people are demanding that the Govt need to build new houses for the Birhor tribe and support other rightful facilities for them.
You can contact J.M Rangeela for more details– 8877185940
Women protested against coal mining company’s people when the company’s people came to map people’s agricultural lands in village Budher (Singrauli, M.P) without any prior notice. Anita Kushwaha (from Budher) with others, told the company people that they won’t let company measure their lands and forests. Shukla (a Company Person) replied, that these lands have been sold by Patwari Rambhajan Saket to company so this land doesn’t belongs to villagers anymore. Anita asks, “how can patwari sell people’s lands without their permission?”
Women told company’s people that they will not allow the company’s people to map their lands in any condition, but company’s people forcefully started mapping. Ramratan’s wife tried to stop them. They even threatened to arrest the women. Deepchand from Amelia asked them, “how can the company work while Code of Conduct applied in this area?’. When the company people answered that for Govt work, code of conduct was not applicable, Deepchand demanded that the patwaari must show his land register & credit book for this village. Conveniently,they told Deepchand that they couldn’t give it because code of conduct was applied in this area.
For further details, please call Anita – 08718939145
Call the District Magistrate M. Selvendran and demand an end to this corruption at – 09425821181
Ramadin Yadav from village Amelia was working under contract at Reliance Power. For the last four months, he didn’t get his wages from the company. He is requesting the District magistrate for justice.
Anita kushwaha (Village Budher, District Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh) divided and registered her land 2 years ago. But, the Patwari, still didn’t give her the receipt & documentation of the registration. Whenever Anita asks the Patwari for the documents, he refuses and says he didn’t get any order from higher officials. Anita asks even after 2 years, how long will it take for the Patwari to get the order for providing her the land documents. Anita requests the Radio Sangharsh audience to call the Patwari of her village to give her her own land documents.
For more information on this, you can call Anita- 8718939145
You can support Anita by telling the Patwari to do his job. Patwari – Rambhajan Saket- 9754844522.
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Devidayal Saket (Pokhriyatola, Vil. Amelia, Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh) is fighting for saving the Mahan forest and his livelihood over three year now. He says that he will not give the forest to companies for coal mining. Mahan forest has rich biodiversity with many animals. People live off medicinal plants, herbs, vegetables, fruits from it. They sell tendu, mushroom etc.found in the forest. For more information, call interviewer Virendra Singh (Mahan Sangharsh Samiti) – 8120487266
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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...