Gadchiroli Oct. 8 (District Correspondent) The issue of Todgatta tribal protest has now reached the world forum as Adv. Lalsu Nogoti, a senior tribal activist of the district and member of “Save Damkondavahi Protest” raised the issue of ongoing mining projects in the district of Gadchiroli in the 54th Session of United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) going on in Geneva, Switzerland.
Adv. Nogoti, who himself hails from the remote and most backward Bhamragad area of the district has been working on the tribals rights and the issues relating to land, water and forest for the last many years. He spoke in the Council meeting through Video statement and put forward the problems of the tribals in the district before the international forum.
Adv. Nogoti, who got elected as a Zilla Parishad member as a candidate of the Gram Sabha movement, delivered his statement in a General Debate under Agenda Item 9 which covers Durban Declaration and Program of Action. He was accredited to speak by an international organisation working for the rights of marginalised sections of society.
His appeal to the Council was heard by different country delegates from all over the world. He also appealed to the Government of India to take immediate cognizance of the ongoing seat-in protest at a remote tribal village of Todgatta in Etapalli taluka of Gadchiroli district. His statement has attracted the attention of the international community to the issues caused by aggressive mining work all over India.
It is expected that the Government of India will take positive cognizance of the protest as the subject was discussed at the plenary session of the apex body of the Unites Nations, he said while commenting on his participation in this world level meet.
The current situation in Etapalli block of Gadchiroli District, Maharashtra, India is very disturbing. Thousands of indigenous peoples from around seventy villages belonging to Madia community which is identified as one of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribes (PVT) by the government, are protesting for more than 200 days and yet the administration has not responded to their legitimate demands, he pointed out.
The ongoing protest against illegal mining is an effort of the people to save the environment along with their distinct culture, identity and livelihood, he said in his lecture.
However, the government has favoured the corporate giants against its own marginalised and peace-loving people residing in remote Villages. The peaceful protestors are also under threat of being falsely prosecuted as anti-nationals by the local police.
As a representative of the ‘Save Damkondavahi Protest’ I strongly urge the Council to take immediate cognizance of the plight of indigenous peoples from Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, India and communicate with India to listen to the demands of protestors immediately, he said in the speech.