In eastern India, Jharkhand, known for its hills, waterfalls, and holy places, is the largest tribal-dominated state in the country, with over 30 tribes.
“Jharkhand is endowed with vast resources of a variety of minerals – 40% of the country’s minerals come from this state. Despite this, it is considered one of the backward and ailing states of the country. Not only this, but it is also surrounded by forests of India’s largest tribal-dominated state”, explains URI Regional Coordinator, Biswadeb Chakraborty.
These tribal villages are facing threats that lead to every move in the name of progress. As the city sprawls into the countryside, the local environment (both the ecosystem and the communities who rely on it) suffers from these interferences. Especially the Indigenous group of the population.
“The only means of tribal livelihood is forest wealth. But, with the recent development and lack of policy use, there is a great loss in both environmental and economic forms. On one hand deforestation, on the other hand, the land of the Tribal people is being snatched with the promise of development. The extreme level of environmental degradation by the extracting companies became a great threat to our Indigenous community.”, concludes Biswadeb
To answer this urgent call from nature and fight this threat against indigenous rights and lives, URI CCs from the region have embraced the “Jal Jamin Jangal Movement” (save the Water, Land, and Forest), making its core mantra.
Amongst the CCs are members of Harekrishanpur Tribal Village, a local indigenous community committed to answering this call and preserving the environment upon which they rely. They recognize the importance of communicating and collaborating with different stakeholders, hence the moves made to engage local activists and leadership and understandthe government vision as part of the process to restore and preserve the ecosystem they rely upon.
Creating cultures of peace, justice, and healing around a common goal is at the heart of URI, and Indigenous members from our global community have been leading the way for a life in balance and resonance with nature.