March 21, 2023

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Indigenous women are protesting against the coal mines in India

This content was released on May 11, 2022 – 13:55

New Delhi, May 11 (EFE) .- A group of tribal women today staged a protest in India against the government’s plan to expand coal mining in the middle of the country, threatening the land and livelihoods of tribal communities. .

Several weeks ago, women staged a protest in the Hastio forest in the central state of Chhattisgarh against a decision approved by the regional government to use more than 850 hectares of forest for an open-pit coal mining project. Forests in the state.

Activists estimate the plan will relocate about 700 indigenous people and destroy another 200,000 trees.

According to Survival International, India is preparing to increase its coal extraction to one billion tonnes a year, but 80% of the planned new mines are located on land owned by indigenous peoples known as tribals.

“Thousands of tribals and Dalits will see their land and livelihoods destroyed by mining,” the NGO said in a statement.

Tribals make up only 8.6% of India’s population of 1,350 million, as they are called members of tribal communities in India, and they represent 30.6% of the population in Chhattisgarh, according to the last 2011 census.

Since the project was approved, many people, especially women, have been camping in threatened forests, embracing trees in the gesture of re-creating the popular “Chipko Andolan”, a non-violent social and ecological movement created by rural villagers, especially women. Threatened by government-sponsored logging in the 1970s to protect trees and forests in India.

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The NGO warned that beyond the approval of the new projects, it had obtained permission from the government to expand another existing coal mine.

“By permitting these mines, the Indian government has violated a noisy and determined anti-tribal movement that has seen rallies, marches and awareness campaigns to protect against deforestation,” Survival said.

It was a protest fighting for their rights to stabilize their forests and keep coal on the ground, but it also led to tribal leaders being “threatened with police repression despite being peaceful and law abiding.”

In this sense, the NGO warns that an indefinite struggle will take place if the tribal people expropriate their lands and seize “their identity and existence.”

Apart from India, there have been struggles to protect the rights of Indigenous Indian communities in London and Washington.

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