The Dust Damned Villages of Jharkhand

Heavy trucks, bad roads choke life in Ramghar district.

About The Video: Development has occupied the jungles, land and resources of the tribals of Durumkasmar village in Ramghar district, Jharkhand. Now it has staked its claim on the very air that the people breathe.

A quiet road that once cut through the forest there has now disappeared into blackened pits that cut into a bleak, barren landscape. To accommodate mining trucks, an alternate road was constructed which passed through small settlements and villages like Durumkasmar. Instead of a pucca tar road, the new road was quickly, economically and badly shuffled together with loose gravel and cement that can barely hold itself together.

All day long, heavy vehicles overloaded beyond capacity with coal pound up and down the road. A blinding storm of dust is sent up into the air. It spares nothing and no one. It chokes every form of life in and around the region.

Community Correspondent Says: “It is not just the humans but the animals and plants that are suffering because of the dust,” says Community Corrspondent Mohan Bhuiyan who has produced a video on the situation. “The very rhythm of life is being altered. Even the Mahua tree, which we use as food and alcohol and which is central to our lives, has stopped blooming and giving fruit. The dust is killing our fields. Our bodies, our houses, our children and land are all being drowned by the dust.”

The villagers have complained to the authorities and so far got no response from them.

Says Mohan, “We have already lost so much of our way of life, our land and our culture to this so-called ‘development’. Now it comes down a gravel road and steals our air.”

Call to Action: Mohan urges the viewers to call or sms the authorities at the Coal Company on 09204799151 and tell them that you have seen a video regarding the pollution and issues in Durumkasmar, Ramghar District. Request them to compensate the losses of the villagers, to build a Pucca Road and put an end to the pollution.

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