Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Story of a Sacred Mountain & Struggle for Exhistance

It is the story of a sacred and mighty mountain, standing as high as 1516 mtr of altitude in the Eastern Ghats to defeat the enormous worries and leaving apart the problems created by the humans in its loving self. It is a mountain which has been nurturing the millions of floras, faunas and many perennial water streams since the ages. The nature playing on its cradle  by listening to the symphony of rustling winds, gargling water streams and the tranquil melodies of singing birds. The mother mountain has its own name i.e Niyam-giri or Niyam Dongar(The Mountain of Law) by the scheduled mountain dwellers, the ‘Dongria Kondhs’(Mountain Tribes).Dongria kondh is one of the primitive and indigenous tribes of the world who enjoys a critical ,spiritual, and symbolic relation  with the Niyamgiri forests from the time immemorial. The Dongrias believe that the hill belongs to ‘Niyam Raja Penu’, a male deity represented by a Sword and worshiped during Dussera.They claim themselves to be the descendants of Niyam Raja. The Dongrias have a distinguished heritage because of their dress style, mode of living, indigenous skills, cultural pattern and social system interlinked with the nature and the mountain forests.

More than 75% of the Niyamgiri hills’ landmass is covered with dense forests. According to taxonomists, who visited ‘Niyamgiri Hills’ report in their preliminary assessment, "The flora of the hill range exhibits a very rich and varied assemblage of plant species owing to its diversified topography with high mountain peaks and innumerable deep valleys and gorges,abundant springs and diverse vegetation resources.”

On fauna front of view, the REIA report mentions that being mainly a forest area, the study area shows wide faunal diversity and abundance. The area exhibits a well-balanced ecosystem with a poised prey-predator relationship. The secondary data identifies a variety of faunal species under categories like endangered and vulnerable as per the Zoological Survey of India’s Red Data Book.

Keeping on view of the above facts the Govt was supposed to declare this area a wild life sanctuary.
Apart from that, the mountain is the finest deposits of Bauxites (A raw material of aluminium, used especially for warheads and weapons) in its womb, which lured the British giant Vedanta Aluminium Ltd to its home to mine bauxite and set up a massive refinery near its territory.

And this is how the Mountain came into the picture of the world media and struggle by its protectors(the Konds) .It is a struggle of a poor man, a poor clan, it is the struggle for their food, a struggle for their life , a struggle for their identity, a struggle for their God(the Mother nature the 'Dharani Penu' ). Moreover it is the struggle of a human who loves his mother greater than the god himself.

The Fact Finding Team of the Central Empowered Committee, Supreme Court, consisting of Mr. Sanjeev Chadha and Mr.S.C.Sharma , who visited the site, mentioned above things in their report, which submitted to Central Empowered Committee. 

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