Mining threat on sacred land unites Indian tribal villages
Tribal groups in India’s Maharashtra state gather at an ancient shrine before harvest each year to give thanks and celebrate their sacred land by singing, dancing and feasting. This year, they injected a modern twist: a discussion about the threat of mining on their densely forested landscape. A threat so severe that villagers are displaying a rare show of unity to campaign against exploitation of their hallowed land...About 25 prospecting licences have been issued to companies to look for minerals, covering more than 18,000 acres...of land...Alarmed by the potential destruction, and backed by rights activists, about 70 villages are campaigning against mining...The villagers have not been consulted, they have not been told of the environmental or social impact, as required by law. These are vulnerable people who have lived here for generations. The forests will be decimated by mining, which is why the villages have unusually come together to oppose it...Most companies that have received licences have not done environment or social impact assessments, or held public hearings with villagers who are largely ignorant of the damage that can be caused by mining...A spokesman for Lloyd’s said the company had received...all required approvals after due process. A spokesman for JSW Steel said its license was secured...after following the due process of law.