Gadchiroli Oct. 22 (District Correspondent) Noted tribal activist and poetess Kusum Alam has put forward the problems being faced by the mining affected people in the district of Gadchiroli in the International Conference on Mining and Extractives Economy -2023 that took place in Indonesia recently.
This was the second meeting of the Global Thematic Social Forum covering five continents- Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin, Central Java Province and Indonesia that was attended by Ms. Alam. The representatives from as many as 53 countries in the world participated in the conference.
Mines are mostly found in forest and hilly areas. Most of the tribals live there. And their life and livelihood depend on that forest. Forest and tribals cannot be separated from each other. Though mining boosts the economy, it shows that the symbiosis of the society has been completely destroyed because of it, pointed out Ms. Alam while expressing her views in the conference.
Gadchiroli is not different from this. Surjagad mine has just started in Gadchiroli district. Many such mines are also proposed in the district and its procedure has already started. Also, many types of projects are coming up in Maharashtra, tribal life will be disrupted because of these mining projects, she stated.
Tribals are not opposed to development. But their lands, forest, rivers, streams should not be affected. We don’t want monstrous development by destroying mountains, language, history, knowledge, culture, gods and goddesses. We should think about how sustainable development can be done by saving the environment, she urged.
The protesting tribals who live freely are being branded as Naxal supporters. The protest is going on in Todgatta since March 11. It has been completely ignored by the government. Hundreds of accidents are happening due to heavy traffic of the mining project. Thousands of hectares of land have been destroyed. Tribal farmers have started committing suicide, she further pointed out.
It is difficult for school students to get education. Human rights should be protected. The basic needs of tribals need to be given special attention. The important issues like education, health need to be addressed first, said Ms. Alam. A poem was presented by Ms. Alam during the conference. Mining, Minerals and People President Ravi Repapragada, Ashokbhai Shrimali from Gujrat, Sadhana Meena provided valuable support for this conference.