Language gap in policy making needs bridging

Down to Earth | Bijayashree Satpathy, Sruthy Bharathan | June 04, 2019

For active participation of tribal communities in policy dialogues, subaltern language are indispensable

India is a land of multiplicities and the formulation of policies in the country has a long history. Time and again there have been changes in the objective of various policies from regulation to community participation to sustainability. In this, language plays an important role.

The policies and legislations are made available to the public in English and Hindi. And, some states have these documents in their respective regional languages. These standardised regional languages are used in every level of administrative, business and social intercourse. Read more

Illegal mining: Need to call out names of fraudulent, wasteful ventures, reverse inhuman conditions

Counterview.org || March 7, 2019

The seventh general assembly of the mines, minerals and People (mm&P), held in Dabbanda, Visakhapatnam on March 1-3, 2019, saw participating human rights defenders, academics, journalists and students “pledge” for securing the rights of the indigenous communities for sustainable development, even as sharply focusing on illegal mining, women and children affected due to mining, poor implementation of the District Mineral Foundation Fund (DMF), silicosis, future Generation Fund and Business and human rights.

Attended by more than 260 participants from 100 organizations representing 21 states of India, it saw participation, among others, of eminent subject experts Roger Moody, Natalie Lowrey (coordinator, Deep Sea Mining Campaign and Yes to Life and No to Mining), Linda Chukchauk, BT Venkatesh (Reach Law), Rahul Basu (Goa Foundation).  Read more

States “violating” tribal rights in India’s mining areas: mm&P delegates tell MPs, PMO, NCST

A delegation led by mines, minerals and People (mm&P) chairman Ravi Rebbapragada, who is executive director, Samata, and Ashok Shrimali, secretary-general mm&P, and consisting of  mm&P executive committee members from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Goa, has raised mining-related issues before India’s top parliamentarians.

The issues raised included non-implementation and utilization of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds in all Indian states; recent hazard in the role hole mines in Meghalaya; false and fabricated cases against tribals across the country; Samata judgment and its implications in various states; illegal coal mining in Churulia, West Bengal; granting leases without the gram sabha consent as in the case of coal mining in Godda district by Adani group; and displacement due to Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and bullet train project.
The delegation stressed on how the Goa government has approved its Goa Regional Plan 2021 without identifying the tribal areas, thereby ignoring the fact that the Goa has about 12% of the tribal population, noting, the state government has constituted an interim Tribes Advisory Council without giving any representation to the tribal community members, violating the Scheduled V of the Constitution of India. It added, the tribal sub-plan (TSP) funds are diverted in large scale in Goa and hence failed to meet its purpose to benefit the tribal population.
Pointing out that the tribals of Goa are kept in total darkness about the provisions of community forest rights (CFR), enshrined under Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, it said, false and fabricated cases are being registered against the tribals who are protesting for their rights.
The delegation handed over a memorandum on these issues to Mansukhbhai Vasava (MP, Gujarat), Prabhubhai Vasava (MP, Gujarat), Jitendra Chowdhary (MP, Tripura), D Raja (MP, Tamil Nadu), Sadhavi Savitri Bai Phule (MP, Uttar Pradesh), the Prime Minister Office, and the vice chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).
Courtesy: Counterview

Mining firms stop school buses, 70 kids stuck at home

PANAJI: Around 70 children in Sonshi, and several others in the state’s mining belt, are unable to go to school as mining companies, after their operations came to a standstill following the Supreme Court order, stopped providing them transport.

It is the state government’s responsibility in these circumstances to immediately provide free transport to these schoolchildren as also water to these areas, Ashok Shrimali of the voluntary organisation mines, minerals and people said. Read more

TimesView Mining areas like Sonshi have always faced the brunt of government neglect, first when they were being smothered in pollution and now when their children have been deprived school bus service and are forced to stay home. The government provides buses to aided schools under the Bal Rath scheme, why does it not extend the scheme to government schools as economically underprivileged children are more likely to go to these schools.
“We held a daylong workshop today with mining affected people from across Goa and the main issues affecting them presently is no transport for their children to go to school and lack of water. Mining companies have stopped providing both as their operations have shut. They say they are now contributing towards the district mineral foundation (DMF) instead,” Ravindra Velip of mines, minerals and people said.

Velip said it is shameful that children are unable to go to school because of lack of transport. “It is the primary responsibility of the state government to provide these basic requirement and they should do so immediately. The state cannot wash its hands off the responsibility,” he added.

Shrimali said that the state government also urgently needs to carry out a study on the groundwater situation in the mining belt.

“Goa has a DMF of about Rs 186 crore, of which Rs 10 crore have been utilised so far. When we checked the ground reality, we were informed that due to mismanagement the Rs 10 crore which was spent has failed to benefit the affected community,” said Shirmali.

Courtesy: The Times of India

70 children of Sonshi village in Goa struck in homes as mining dumps have made roads inaccessible

By Sayantani Sarkar

Samata and mines minerals and people (mm&P) organized a District Level Consultation on Children in Mining Area, Illegal Mining, District Mineral Fund (DMF) and Future Generation Fund in collaboration with SETU at Honda Panchayat, Sattari, Goa on 22nd December’ 2018.

The Consultation witnessed the presence of total 62 participants comprising of local government representatives like Panchayat Members, Sarpanch, community members from Sonshi, Soyle, Pissurle and Honda, members of Civil Society Organizations, and Women’ s Groups and Self-Help Groups (SHGs).

There were discussions on the overview of mining throughout the country, various stages of mining, illegal mining, Samata Judgement, situation of children in the mining areas and consequences on their education, health affected due to air and water pollution, malnutrition issues etc., and the need for lobbying National Level regarding Child Rights as they are being violated.

There were discussions on the situation of children in mining areas and it was said that “mining children are nobody’s children and are falling through the cracks” as they are mostly ignored by all the concerned child welfare departments, govt. authorities unaware of the mining children’s inclusion in the respective departments. There is a confusion and lack of clarity as in which department the children in the mining areas should be included and what basic facilities and amenities should be provided to them.

The community people of Sonshi shared that around 70 children of the village and the surrounding villages are struck in their homes and unable to go to school as mining companies after the mining operations came to a standstill following a Supreme Court order, stopped providing the children transport and the roads are inaccessible due to mining dumps placed near the villages. Secretary General of mm&P Ashok Shrimali said that “this is violation of the Right to Education Act and it is the state government’s responsibility to provide free transport for school.”

There were elaborative discussions on District Mineral Fund (DMF), its formation, implementation in all the states and lack of public awareness on the functioning of the DMF. It was found that people are unaware of the DMF which is meant to be utilized for the betterment of the mining affected communities and the funds collected are to be utilized to provide basic amenities like drinking water, sanitation, education, health and environmental conservation and preservation. It was also noticed that there was no community participation of the mining affected communities at the planning, formulation and implementation stage.

Shrimali stated that as per the information available, Goa has about Rs. 186 crore under DMF of which Rs. 10 crore has been utilized. However the ground reality is that due to mismanagement of funds, the amount spent has not benefitted the mining affected communities.

Executive Council Member of mm&P, Goa Ravindra Velip, said that no district has developed a comprehensive DMF plan to ensure need- based investments in mining affected areas. He alleged that while the role of gram sabhas and panchayats are sidelined, no beneficiaries are identified under the scheme.

Courtesy: Counterview

1 2 3 7