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.”
For more information and images, contact our press office:
+44 (0)207 687 8709 | +44 (0)7841 029 289
Latest News from
WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
Private Sector Gears Up For Growth Over The Coming Quarter - CBI Growth Indicator05/06/2023 16:05:00
Private sector activity fell in the three months to May (-10% from -7% in April), marking the tenth consecutive rolling quarter of decline, according to the CBI’s latest Growth Indicator.
Austerity left UK “hugely unprepared" for the Covid pandemic – TUC05/06/2023 14:05:00
Austerity left the UK “hugely unprepared" for the Covid pandemic, according to a new report published by the TUC today (Monday).
The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) responds to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Concluding Observations of the UK05/06/2023 10:05:00
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), responds to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Concluding Observations of the UK
Audit Scotland - Challenges ahead to spend remaining EU money by end of 202305/06/2023 09:05:00
All EU Structural Funds Programme and Rural Development Programme funding has been committed to projects, but with £504 million still available to be spent
TUC – women in Yorkshire and Humberside twice as likely as men to miss out on pensions auto-enrolment02/06/2023 13:15:00
Women in Yorkshire and Humberside are more than twice as likely as men to miss out on being automatically put into a workplace pension, according to new analysis published by the TUC on Monday 29 May to mark gender pensions gap day.
LGA statement on Resolution Foundation report on road pricing02/06/2023 10:05:00
Cllr Linda Taylor, Transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association responded to a report by the Resolution Foundation which calls for reforms to road policy due to the transition to electric vehicles
Audit Scotland - Early learning and childcare expansion delivered but sector fragile02/06/2023 09:05:00
The Scottish Government, councils and partners did well to increase early learning and childcare (ELC) provision to 1,140 hours a year per child, despite the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the sector remains fragile.
LGA on DWP childcare announcement31/05/2023 15:25:00
Cllr Louise Gittins, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board responds to a Department for Work and Pensions announcement of an expansion to childcare provision