The Dongria are hill people, retistleng them on the plains is a form of ethnicide. They live in the hills, they worship the hills, they survive off the hills,’ he says. The Niyamgiri Hills are not simply where the Dongria live, but the very essence of who they are. To resettle them is to destroy them.’The article continues:A resettled Dongria village Sakata on the edge of the forest would appear to support that gloomy prediction. A few years back, the people were given pukka’ concrete houses and land to grow crops but have since done nothing with the government’s gift. Almost all the men of the village are dead from taking too much of the potent local liquor, which is far stronger than the sago-wine of their tradition. With the connection to the forest gone,’ a local social worker says, the men of the village simply earned enough as day labourers to drink themselves to death.’This morning on Breakfast that all over the world the men in particular do not cope when progress meets hunter-gatherer people. I don’t know how universally accurate that is, but in this case, as I said, our expectation must be that the tribe will be destroyed and it’s hard to think that any compensation or an army of counsellors, social workers or community development officers would make any significant difference.
Very valid, pithy, scuincct, and on point. WD.
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A shocking expose of how one of the world’s most powerful mining companies is ravaging tribal land, river and forest in a remote part of Orissa in East India.