Raigarh of Chattisgarh faces the wrath of Industrialization | Awaz ho Buland EP 12

Chattisgarh, formerly part of the state of Madhya Pradesh, India, was granted statehood on 1st November 2000. It has the 3rd largest forest cover, and the 3rd largest Coal reserve in the country. Chhattisgarh is one of the fastest-developing states in India. Its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is ₹3.63 lakh crore (US$ 48 billion). A resource-rich state, Chhattisgarh provides electricity, coal, and steel to the rest of the nation.

In this Video, Community Correspondent Rajesh Gupta, from Raigarh, tells  us about the Resource Curse or Paradox of Plenty in his area. In 1993, Professor Richard Auty coined the term Resource Curse to describe how countries rich in mineral resources were unable to use that wealth to boost their economies.

In his state Chattisgarh, Rajesh observed that along with the industrial development, there are several issues of environmental degradation and social malaise happening alongside. Rajesh grew up in Raigarh and he has lived all these experiences that he wants to share with us. In his district alone, there are more than 350 small and big iron and coal industries operating, and they are causing huge displacement, around 61 villages and 1406 families have been affected by displacement. Most of the time, issues of acquisition of people's land and forceful interference by industrialists are on the mainstream news.

Rajesh interviewed the villagers who were displaced because of a Dam and they were rehabilitated next to a polluting industry, Sunil Ispat Company. From emitting chimney smoke, the villagers are finding it difficult to breathe and most of them are already suffering from lung diseases. The youths mentioned that agriculture is no longer a lucrative profession, as the pollutants of nearby factories are sipping in their land and groundwater and the fertility of land is rapidly decreasing.

The polluted groundwater is also connected with a drain to the nearby Kelo Dam. This dam provides drinking water to the entire Raigarh, imagine the scale of pollution and the after effects!

Even though people are rehabilitated, the basic facilities of drinking water, all weather roads, electricity, education etc are not provided. Without all these primary facilities, the villagers suffer a lot, along with the grief of displacement and loss of their livelihood. 

Rajesh mentioned that in over 8 years, he made 100s of videos on these issues of his area and is trying to create an impact. He recently saved the life of a young kid suffering from Muscular Atrophy by collecting a huge sum of 16 Crores, a sum required for his life saving injection. 

This is a video that tells us about the trials and tribulations of people in a resource curse state. Please share this video to show the indomitable spirit of the displaced populace.

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