One of the oldest sal forests of Asia - Mahan, Madhya Pradesh are facing the threat of an absolute wipe out. Giant corporations Essar and Hindalco are after the coal reserves below these forests.
Over 14,190 lives and livelihoods are dependent on the Mahan forests, Madhya Pradesh. Their culture, community and lives are intertwined with the forests that the corporations threaten to destroy. Displacement from their natural habitat is going to be devastating for the indigenous community.
Hindalco and Essar want to mine for coal in Mahan. The cost of this mining is simply too high! Short sighted profits have taken over sustainable development. The coal mining companies pose a threat to destroy the lives of the indigenous people of Mahan.
Is it fair to destroy one of the oldest forests for coal? Uproot an entire community for greed and profits? Displace wildlife for dirty power?
Our forests, our nature and our people need your support NOW. We cannot let powerful companies wipe out the existence of a community.
The people of Mahan have come together to reclaim what is theirs. The Mahan Sangharsh Samiti (MSS) was formed in March 2013 to protect the forests and land from coal mining. Since then, the MSS has expanded to 11 villages and garnered the support of the Minister of Tribal Affairs, KC Deo and civil society groups. They have also organised rallies and public meetings to raise awareness of their rights in the region.Tweet
“On the evening of the Gram Sabha, the tehsildar along with local policemen went around the village forcing villagers to sign the resolution. Later several signatures were forged. After obtaining a copy of the resolution, I was shocked to see that my signature was forged as well,” - Kripanath, Amelia village, Singrauli district , Madhya Pradesh
The Forests Rights Act (2006) entitles communities to decide for themselves. It recognises forest dwellers’ rights and makes conservation more accountable. In Mahan, the people are fighting for their right to ensure this law is implemented and their rights are respected. The indigenous people of Mahan need their forests to live. The coal companies Essar and Hindalco want to wipe out all this aside for a few years of profit.
Right to live, Right to sustain, Right to home
Right for Mahan
What would you do if your home was taken over by someone else?
"We have been dependent on the Mahan forests for generations, collecting a variety of forest produce, which is a very significant source of our livelihood. Now the company says that these forests belong to them and we have no RIGHT on it,” - Bechanlal, member of Mahan Sangarsh Samiti and a resident of Amelia village.
Essar and Hindalco cannot compensate for the loss of lives, livelihoods, biodiversity and cultures that will be caused due to mining under Mahan forest. Allowing Essar and Hindalco to mine in Mahan will endanger neighbouring forest land, leading to vast scale forest destruction.
The mining in Mahan will affect the people who are dependent on the forests. The coal companies are about to embark on a destructive project, unless they are stopped now!
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