The highlight of the day was a visit from Western Coal Field employees. The guy to my right in the white shirt who is looking very angry was actually very angry.
Over the last 27 days I had more than 800 people visit me and not a single person said that what I was doing is wrong or against development. Frankly when the coal mine is a stone's throw away from the tree house I was expecting a visit and it was long overdue.
Finally around at 2:30 pm a bunch of employees who work at the Padmapur open cast mine landed up. The first question Raju, the guy in a white shirt, asked me was "Do you know how much is the forest cover of Maharashtra? "
Me: "Why do you ask?"
Raju: "So what will happen if we destroy a few forests to mine for coal? We have a lot of forests.Sher bacha ke kya kar loge aap log (What will you achieve by saving tigers?). If coal is under the forests the forests need to go."
And he went on and on and on....
He pointed out at a farmer from Padmapur village who was listening to the discussion and said, "Look at this guy, he is waiting for his land to be sold so that he will get hard cash. People are saying, 'even if we get 6 lakhs instead of 10 just take our land'."
Me: "So what happens when the money gets over?"
Raju: "Never mind that, don't think of the future think of the present ."
Me: "The present looks dreadful and if you don't think of the future you won't have an answer for your children when the forests are gone."
That's where the argument ended, all others agreed with me and said I am doing great work. Mr Raju, however ,agreed to disagree and left.
For more stories from Junglistan visit: http://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/What-We-Do/Stop-Climate-Change/Quit-Coal/Coal-Forest/Brikesh-Journey/
Sign the petition to show your support for forests here: www.junglistan.org/act