Forced Evictions

forced-evictions

Forced evictions are on the rise in several parts of India. Most development projects, at face value, seem aimed at improving the lives of people: a new dam will generate more electricity to power industry; a new shopping mall will create new businesses and therefore more jobs.

However, the reality for communities living near a project is often quite different. These projects often about result in destruction of communities, the loss of jobs, and the impoverishment of people. Each year an estimated 15 million people across the globe are forcibly uprooted from their homes, farmlands, fishing areas and forests to make way for dam reservoirs, irrigation projects, mines, plantations, highways, and tourist resorts. Urban slums are bulldozed to make way for luxury condominiums, sporting facilities and shopping centres. Human rights abuses do not end after a forced eviction. A community may not be formally resettled and often find themselves living without adequate housing and without access to water, work, schools and hospitals. A forced eviction exacerbates poverty, social unrest, environmental degradation and loss of cultural identity.  

Often, society accepts this collateral damage as the price the nation must pay for development. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way: it is possible to both safeguard people’s rights while also experiencing economic growth.

Fear of Homelessness Looms Large in a Mumbai Slum

 
/ July 15, 2015

15th July 2015 | Mumbai, Maharashtra | Amol Lalzare The residents of Sathe Nagar, a slum close to the Mumbai airport, do not know when the roof over their heads will disappear. Since 2006, surveys have been conducted in silence and demolitions underway as part of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority’s...

IndiaUnheard Turns Five

 
/ June 2, 2015

What would news look like if the very people who live a story produced it? What if each marginalised community had someone to document their stories and the issues they face from within the community? What if this news didn’t stop at reporting a story but also brought change to...

Kanhar Damned

 
/ April 17, 2015

 Local police opened-fire at a gathering of 1500 people protesting the construction of the Kanhar Dam at 7 am on 14th April. Residents of the area, a majority of whom aretribals and Dalits, have been at loggerheads with the administration since 1973 when the Dam was originally conceived as an...

Landless Dalits March for Their Right to Land

 
/ April 8, 2015

On 9th April 2015, 300 landless and homeless people, primarily Dalits, Mahadalits, Adivasis, women and children, will march to the Legislative Assembly in Bihar’s capital, Patna. The group will put forward five demands and ask the government to keep its promise of providing tenancy to the 3.78 lakh landless Dalits...

Living Near Hell; How Coking Coal is Choking Jharia

 
/ March 26, 2015

26th March | Madra Panchayat, Jharia Block, Dhanbad District, Jharkhand | Bharti Kumari The operations of Bharat Coking Coal Limited, in Jharia Block, have destroyed most signs of a once normal life. Everything is now shrouded under a sick smoke emitting from the coal fires burning in mines underground and...

One Billion Rising: Women of Chattisgarh fight for equal pay after eviction

 
/ February 9, 2015

February 9; Bilaspur, Chattisgarh   The National Thermal Power Corporation, that is based in Sipat village, produces 3000 megawatts of electricity everyday. The plant is built on land belonging to the farmers, who were evicted too. Left without the land to farm on, men and women from surrounding villages are...

Uprooting a slum for corporate convenience

 
/ January 16, 2015

January 16; Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh A slum near Minto Park in Allahabad is being uprooted and its residents disposed, Community Correspondent Ajeet Bahadur reports on the political and corporate motivations driving this move.

Abki Baar Company Sarkar? | Did we vote in a corporate government this time?

 
/ January 14, 2015

In Jharkhand, some 228 families have spent the last three years clinging to their land, defying the Indian government, the World Bank and an international coal conglomerate. But the government’s decision to do away with mandatory consent in the Land Acquisition Act may spell the end of their struggle.  ...