In an extraordinary and wonderful turn of events, I have just heard that India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has blocked Vedanta Resources’ controversial plan to mine bauxite on the sacred hills of the Dongria Kondh tribe.
Vedanta Resources, a UK-registered ftse -100 company wanted to mine The Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa which are sacred to Dongria Kondhs, a protected tribal group of ‘original’ Aboriginal peoples.
According to Survival International, Mr Ramesh said Vedanta has shown a ’shocking’ and ‘blatant disregard for the rights of the tribal groups’. The Minister has also questioned the legality of the massive refinery Vedanta has already built below the hills.
I wrote about this back in May 2009 (India – Vedanta’s shame) and also for Tehelka in late 2007 (Knocked Out by Bauxite).
Here are some images from the story.
India - Orissa - Dabu Limajhi, a Dongria Kondh tribal woman in Kankasarpa village, shares a joke with friends in her house
India - Orissa - Dabu Limajhi, a Dongria Kondh tribal woman in Kankasarpa village
India - Orissa - A Dongria Kondh woman carries a pot of water on her head in front of the Vedanta plant, Lanjigargh
India - Orissa - sunset over the Niyamgiri hills. The hills are sacred to the Dongria Kondh and are worshipped as a deity
Tags: Dongria Kondhs, India, Jairam Ramesh, mountain, Niyamgiri, Niyamgiri Hills, Orissa, photojournalism, politics, religion, reportage, scheduled tribe, tribal, Vedanta, victory, women