WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
Survival International - India: Tribes threatened by conservation plan historic protest
Hundreds of Baiga people from the area that inspired Kipling’s The Jungle Book are rallying to oppose the authorities’ attempts to evict them from the forests that they have lived in and managed since time immemorial.
Baiga tribespeople are joining forces from over 70 different villages in an area of 1,500 square kilometres. The protests have been sparked by official efforts to evict two Baiga communities from a wildlife “corridor”. Dozens of neighboring Baiga communities are now terrified they will be next, as they face poverty, exploitation and misery if forced from their homes.
The Baiga are particularly worried by the two upcoming evictions, as both state authorities and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) promised that evictions would not take place in the “corridor” areas, which run between the protected nature reserves.
By law, any resettlements of tribal people must be voluntary, even for those living in designated conservation areas. However Baiga people report threats, intimidation and violence until they have no choice but to leave their homes.
Baiga elder, Bhardan Singh told Survival International: “The forest guards beat me until I fell from the tree. I split my hip bone and couldn’t stand. I crawled to the edge of the park. The guards just left me and walked away.”
This weekend’s protest is a local flashpoint in an ongoing national issue. Tribal peoples living in tiger reserves across India are being forced to leave their ancestral homelands in the name of tiger conservation. However, tiger numbers have increased rapidly in the first reserve in India where a tribe won the right to stay on their land, showing people and tigers can flourish alongside one another.
Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, launched a tourist boycott in November last year, urging visitors to India not to visit any of India’s tiger reserves until the Indian tiger authority respects tribal peoples’ rights to live in and protect their forests.
Survival Director Stephen Corry said: “These evictions, both inside and outside the tiger reserves, are totally unjustified, as well as illegal. Not only do they destroy the lives of the people forced from their homes, but they don’t help the tigers either. The authorities and WWF promised there would be no evictions – as so often in the past, such promises have proven worthless.”
Note to Editors
- The march will take place from 17th-19th March
- For details about the march and to speak to the organisers, please contact the Survival International press office. Details below.
- Baiga means “medicine man.” Baiga people are known for their distinctive tattoos, and for their very close relationship to their environment.
- Tribal people were evicted from Similipal tiger reserve in 2013, and were soon after found living in dire conditions under plastic sheets.
- Many Baiga were evicted from the nearby Kanha tiger reserve in 2014. They received no land, houses, or support but were supposed to find land to buy with their compensation money, an alien concept for those who’d lived all their lives in the forest. They told Survival: “We got some money, but we are lost – wandering in search of land. Here there is only sadness. We need the jungle.”
Latest News from
WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
CBI comments on additional Government financial support for business03/04/2020 13:51:00
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General yesterday commented on additional Government financial support for business.
Employers must keep workers safe or get shut down, says TUC03/04/2020 12:15:00
The TUC yesterday (Wednesday) called on government to take further steps to protect workers who are still going into work.
Lack of PPE for health and social care staff is “a crisis within a crisis”, unions warn ministers02/04/2020 15:15:15
The heads of Britain’s health and social care unions yesterday (Wednesday) warned ministers that the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and social care workers is a “crisis within a crisis”.
NHS Confederation - Lifting restrictions on trusts testing staff for Covid-19 welcomed02/04/2020 13:40:00
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, responded to the news that the 15 per cent cap on trusts testing staff for COVID-19 will be removed
CBI comments on COP26 postponement02/04/2020 13:15:00
Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director yesterday commented on COP26 postponement.
CIPD - 1 in 4 employers expect permanent redundancies from coronavirus crisis02/04/2020 12:40:00
A joint survey from the CIPD and People Management magazine shows how employers are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic
Coronavirus support funding reaching businesses – LGA statement02/04/2020 11:40:00
Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, responded to the Treasury announcement that businesses have begun receiving coronavirus funding support
Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at risk from killer measles, cholera epidemics: UNICEF02/04/2020 10:40:00
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s battered healthcare system needs urgent support as it struggles with measles and cholera epidemics that kill thousands of children, as well as the mounting threat from the coronavirus, COVID-19, says UNICEF.
NHS Confederation - Automatic NHS visa extensions a welcome step from Government02/04/2020 09:40:00
Danny Mortimer, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation and chief executive of NHS Employers, responded to the Home Office's visa extensions for health workers