At a time when India posits itself as a future superpower, the residents of Dharuapalli wait for electricity to irrigate their land and charge their phones.
As the Odisha Mining Corporation diverts water resources for its iron ore mines, local communities face a drought-like situation.
The PESA law makes it mandatory for village councils to be consulted before any land acquisition in the village, but it is being blatantly violated today.
“They demolished our school,” says a young boy who expresses his desire to go to school. His opportunities and dreams have been submerged by the lower Indra Irrigation Project, another dam construction in the name of development.
The Forest Rights Act entitles Adivasi and forest-dwelling communities to both individual and community land ownership, but the process, mostly, is a long-winding one.
Most indigenous communities traditionally depend on forests for their lives and livelihoods, forests that are steadily shrinking. When the forest resources in Nayagarh started to disappear, the community took to conservation and sustainable living, exercising their lawful forest rights.
Big dams in India stand for the state’s hubris and arrogance. The Lower Suktel Irrigation Project in Odisha is one such dam.