Corporate mining giant Vedanta has been violating the human rights of tribals in Odisha for many years now. The Dongria Kondhs, a primitive tribe, has been forced to relinquish their rights over their homeland, and cultural and livelihood resources to accommodate the company’s refinery and mines complex. The company’s mines, no matter how benign, will rip through a hill that is the sacred deity of the tribe that has lived in these hills for centuries without leaving a trace on the sensitive ecosystem of the biodiverse watershed forests. The hills that are slotted for mining are home to the Golden Gecko, a species that figures in IUCN’s Red List of endangered species. The Niyamgiri Mountains are the primary source of drinking water for the entire area, apart from being the source of two important rivers of Orissa Nagabali and Vamsadhara which are the lifeline of at least 50000 people downstream.
Research by Amnesty International and other local and international groups documents the serious and continuing pollution caused by the refinery’s operations. Despite the string of decisions against Vedanta, the company has failed to remedy the pollution.
In March this year shortly after Vedanta launched its public relations campaign, called ‘ creating happiness “. – a series of short films about Vedanta that aired on 37 TV channels – was an advertising campaign conceived by India’s ad guru Piyush Pandey of Ogilvy & Mather. It was launched with a technically slick film that focused on the apparent happiness of Binno, a small girl in Rajasthan, when she discovers that she can get an education from the anganwadis (child day care centres) set up by the company.
We launched our FAKING HAPPINESS CAMPAIGN with series of open letters and call for short film competition, showing the true picture of Vedanta. Following our onslaught, Shyam Benegal and Gul Panag withdrew from the jury saying they were unaware of Vedanta’s role in the competition. At the end of the day, Vedanta’s PR campaign backfired badly.
Now once again Vedanta ,as they claim have launched first social media campaign ‘ Vedanta ‘ Khushi” , and we are back with a BANG.
Here is the launch of our, ‘ VEDANTA ki VEDANA” Campaign. We launch our first Music Video- ‘Vedanta Saddan”
Lyrics are by- Rahul Yogi Deveshwar
Singer- Madan Shukla
Edited and Adapted by- Kamayani Bali Mahabal
A big THANKS to Music Inn support for the recording
The Facebook page says-KHUSHI” is a mission started on fulfilling the objective and let know the world that we do “Care for the Under-Privileged Children” – their Nutrition – Education – Health and overall development. “KHUSHI” – a Vedanta Group initiative – is a mission to bring in together like minded people, particularly youth of today, to spread this awareness amongst colleagues, friends, relatives and people around, through word of mouth or through e-medium and the way one feels would be useful.
And we know what an apt time to start the campaign when Vedanta is fighting for its existence
The Supreme Court is due to make a final decision on the challenge posed to the Environment Ministry’s stop to the Niyamgiri mine on 11th January, 2013 . In its December 6th hearing the Supreme Court concluded that the case rested on whether the rights of the indigenous Dongia Kond’s – who live exclusively on that mountain – could be considered ‘inalienable or compensatory’. The previous ruling by Environment and Forests minister Jairam Ramesh in August 2010 prevented Vedanta from mining the mountain due to violations of environment and forestry acts. The challenge to this ruling has been mounted by the Orissa Mining Corporation, a state owned company with 24% shares in the joint venture to mine Niyamgiri with Vedanta, begging questions about why a state company is lobbying so hard for a British mining company in whom it has only minority shares in this small project. (see http://infochangeindia.org/environment/features/niyamgiri-a-temporary-reprieve.html)
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