Mindless mining

Dainik Tribune | April 11, 2019

The ugly head of the sand mafia has risen again in Haryana with the detection of illegal 50-feet-deep digging along the Yamuna embankment at Tajewala village in Yamunanagar. It threatens to wreak havoc in the coming monsoon as the damaged embankment may impact the Hathnikund barrage and lead to floods in the surrounding area. As truckloads of the mineral dredged by heavy machinery criss-cross the state with impunity, it is an open secret that the unlawful activity is rampant. Alarmed by the ravaging plunder, the NGT had put a blanket ban on sand mining on the banks of the Yamuna in 2015, pending an investigation. In 2012, the Supreme Court had in a bid to curb illegal mining that is prevalent across the country, notably banned all sand mining without the approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Read more

Intricacies of abolishing child labour

The Hans India | Dr MOHAN KANDA | April 10, 2019

Much has been said and written about the scourge of child labour, worldwide as well as in India. The malady has had a chequered history for centuries, with societies and governments adopting approaches suited to the ethos and culture of their environments at different times.

rom the second half of the previous century, however, it has been accepted universally that employing children for work is a pernicious practice. As a result, several measures have been taken, legal, policy and operational, by various countries including our own.

In the strict and formal sense, child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives them of childhood, prevents them from attending school and harms them physically, mentally, socially and morally. Read more

NHSRCL misses several deadlines in land acquisition for Bullet Train Project

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), ruling party in center, is promising a High-Speed Bullet Train corridor between Kanyakumari and Chennai through its general poll manifesto and raising hopes of better connectivity for the people but the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) which is executing India’s first bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, is missing several deadlines in land acquisitions for the bullet train project. The Government has set a deadline for December 2018 to clear the land acquisition roadblock.

Around 140 km north of the Mumbai, in Dehane village of Dahanu block of the district, around 40 people of the Warli tribe gather to articulate their resistance to the project. Rupesh Rawte, a 42-year-old farmer who has 1.5 acres, asks why they should give up their land for a train that is not for them. He said that we will only be looking at it as it passes by. It is not going to stop for us and we can’t afford it. Read more

Lok Sabha polls: Gujarat tribes unhappy with govt ‘interference’ in their culture, may tilt balance in state

First Post | Bishan Kumar | April 07, 2019

Hundreds of nondescript villages in the tribal lands of south Gujarat seem lost in time. Anyone coming from the glittering cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara and the likes, are immediately transported into a different world of Bhils, Pagris, Dhodia, Dhanka and their ilk. Living in their serene environment, largely untouched by the winds of development, the tribals are now encountering interference from the outside world, causing a threat to their culture, beliefs and unity. And this defines their current psychological state.

Till a few years back, there was hardly any temple in the areas of Dangs, Bharuch and Valsad but now, many small temples dot the small hills. Ask any local and he denies any knowledge of how and by whom these temples were built. Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) leader and seven-time MLA from Jhagadiya constituency is seriously upset by these intrusions. He accuses saffron outfits of trying to create dissension and confusion among nature worshippers. Read more

Tribal rights in Lok Sabha 2019: The Adivasi won’t dance to political tunes anymore

QRIUS | TEJASWI SUBRAMANIAN | April 09, 2019

It is about time that the rights of the tribal communities are acknowledged and addressed as part of mainstream politics and governance.

With the recent detainment of Jean Dreze in Jharkhand, one really wonders how out of touch our democratic institutions are with the grassroots. The economist’s detainment, along with two other activists, who were allegedly holding a meeting on the right to food and pension without explicit and prior permission from the authorities, is a signal of an increasingly intolerant and hierarchical structure. It seems like this structure believes in the politicisation of every move and circumstance for the political gain of a few, at the cost of the rights of millions.

The targeting of Dreze, a renowned development economist, who helped draft the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (and later led protests owing to gaps in its implementation), and is known for rooting his work in grounded theory, is one such telling instance. Read more

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