Vedanta- Social Media Campaign ‘ Khushi’ – Faking Happiness #CSR


Kamayani Bali Mahabal- April 17,2013  for Faking Happiness Campaign

Vedanta Resources plc is a London listed FTSE100 company which has brought death and destruction to thousands. 63% of it is owned by billionaire Anil Agarwal and his family through companies in various tax havens. It has been consistently fought by people’s movements but it is being helped by the British government to evolve into a multi-headed monster and spread across India and round the world, diversifying into iron ore in Goa, Karnataka and Liberia, Zinc in Rajasthan, Namibia, South Africa and Ireland, copper in Zambia and most recently oil in the ecologically fragile Mannar region in Sri Lanka.

Vedanta’s Record in India:

In Odisha, India:

Vedanta’s bauxite mining and aluminium smelters have left more than tenthousand displaced people landless, contaminated drinking water sources with ‘red mud’ and fly ash,and devastated vast tracts of fertile land in an area which has seen famine every year since 2007.Vedanta’s mine on the sacred Niyamgiri hills has been fought by Adivasi (indigenous)-led people’smovements for seven long years and has so far been stopped. This has rendered their subsidiaryVedanta Aluminium (VAL) a loss making company, starving it’s refineries at Jharsuguda and Lanjigarhof local bauxite.

In Goa:

Vedanta’s Sesa Goa subsidiary has been accused of large scale fraud and illegal mining.In June 2009 following a pit wall collapse which drowned Advalpal village in toxic mine waste, a 9year old local boy Akaash Naik filed a petition to stop the mine and mass protests later that yearhalted mining at one of Sesa Goa’s sites. In 2011 there were more major mine waste floods. In SouthGoa a 90 day road blockade by 400 villagers succeeded in stopping another iron ore mine. Sesa Goaare paying ‘silence funds’ to try and prevent similar action at their South Goa mine.

In Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin:

Vedanta subsidiary Sterlite has flouted laws without remorse, operatingand expanding without consent, violating environmental conditions, and illegally dumping toxiceffluents and waste. In 1997 a toxic gas leak hospitalised 100 people sparking an indefinite hungerstrike by a local politician and a ‘siege on Sterlite’ that led to 1643 arrests. Later that year a kilnexplosion killed two. An estimated 16 workers died between 2007 and 2011. Police recorded mostworkers deaths as suicides. Pollution Control Boards, judges and expert teams have on severaloccasions reversed damning judgements of the company, demonstrating large scale corruption andbribery. Activists are waging a court battle which has stopped operations for several short periods.

In Tamil Nadu, Mettur:

Vedanta bought MALCO ‘s aluminium complex at Mettur 2 yearsbefore permission for their Kolli Hills bauxite mines expired but continued to mine illegally for 10years. Five adivasi villages were disturbed and a sacred grove destroyed before activist’s petitionsstopped mining in 2008. Without local bauxite and with protests preventing bauxite coming fromNiyamgiri in Orissa the factory at Mettur was also forced to close. However, the abandoned andunreclaimed mines continue to pollute the mountains and a huge red mud dump by the Stanleyreservoir pollutes drinking water and blows toxic dust into the village.

In Chhattisgarh, Korba:

Vedanta bought the state owned BALCO’s alumina refinery, smelter andbauxite mines for ten times less than its estimated value in 2001 despite a landmark 61 day strike byworkers. Since then wages have been slashed and unionised workers are losing jobs. In 2009 afactory chimney collapsed, BALCO claimed 42 were killed, but in fact 60 – 100 people are stillmissing. Witnesses claim these workers from poor families in neighbouring states are buriedunderground in the rubble, which was bulldozed over immediately after the collapse

British Government’s special relationship with Vedanta

• The UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and Department of Tradeand Industry (DTI) helped launch Vedanta on the London Stock Exchange andcontinues to support the company.
• Through the World Bank funded NGO Business Partners for Development, it hashelped Vedanta take over copper mines in Zambia . Although Vedanta has been finedfor poisoning the Kafue river and faced workers protests, the UK is helpingestablish it in Zambia by securing in the words of local NGOs “ a ‘champion’ withincentral government to further the ‘enabling environment’”.
• Meanwhile in Liberia in what has been described as one of the worst recordedconcession agreements in the country’s history Sesa Goa is accused of breach ofcontract and may have to pay damages of US$10 billion.
• Most recently when the Indian government held up Vedanta’s deal with EdinburghbasedCairn Energy by investigating Vedanta’s ability to manage strategic oil fields, UKgovernment officials, briefed “over dinner” by Cairn Energy, offered to “polish” and senda letter drafted by the company to the Indian Prime Minister to force the deal through.David Cameron even personally intervened, urging India to speed up’unnecessary delays’. As a result the Indian government caved in and allowed a dealwhich handed some 30% of India’s crude oil for a fraction of its worth to this notoriouscorporate.
• Vedanta’s Cairn India is now drilling for oil in the ecologically fragile off-shoreregion around Mannar in Sri Lanka – an area controlled by the Sri Lankan military.

Vedanta Resources,  is attempting to claim to be social responsible via a huge advertising campaign. The latest is the  social media campaign, ‘Khushi’, aimed at underprivileged children, is poised to complete one year. Launched on April 10, 2012. In this video we attack all tall claims of Vedanta Khushi Campaign.

The Reality is –

Vedanta has suffocated the life of Adivasis in Niyamgiri foothills. The entire area is overlapped with Red Mud. Most of humans, animals, birds and insects are infected with skin diseases. Proper medical facilities are unavailable; there is no sign of hospital. By pressures, by vicious means, by force, by paying less, Vedanta bought the farming and forest land of Local tribes. They cheated them by providing technical training to make them skillful workers in Vedanta Mines and factories, as soon as land got transferred, Vedanta thrown them out.

Red mud has converted all crop fields and forest into waste land, the vein is spreading. The river Vasamdhara is the main source of water for all constituents of habitats in Niyamgiri. Vedanta’s Red Mud resulted in converting drinkable water of Vasamdhara to polluted and toxic waste; it is causing dangerous skin diseases and cancer. Even Animals and birds are rejecting it to drink. The situation of Vasamdhara is same from Niyamgiri till KalingapatnamAmnesty International broke this harsh truth.

Niyamgiri foothills is a treasure of bauxite, Bauxite is a main component to make aluminum. According to statistic, Niyamgiri foothills contain 72 lakh million ton of bauxite. The average cost of 1 ton bauxite is approx 6500 INR, whereas all 72 lakh million ton is not awarded to Vedanta for mining. The prices are fixed very little, when Government awards a license to mine, it is simple to understand the covetous intentions of Vedanta by looking at the history and biology of Vedanta.

Government and Vedanta has fixed the price of Niyamgiri foothills, the predators have camped and pasted like a woodworm. Vedanta Aluminum Ltd is camped with crooked intentions in Laljiganj located at south Odisha . A fake kingdom of 700 Hectares expanded by cheating legally and eating illegally, hooks or crook they used every evil outfit.

Village Bundela initiated the revolution against Vedanta few years back, many voices were raised, and dozens of revolutionaries are martyred. There are few Tribal’s if they further replaced from this areas, they will lose their name from World map. They are already on the way of extinction because of Vedanta what a Price tag we have placed on forest and tribes in this materialistic world. We are the silent observer of slaughter of Humanity.

JOIN US FAKING HAPPINESS CAMPAIGN

https://www.facebook.com/groups/fakinghappiness/

#India- Apex court puts a ‘God’ poser for Vedanta Group


Adivasi Women

 

 

 

R. BALAJI, Pioneer

New Delhi, Feb. 19: The Supreme Court today put some searching questions to the Vedanta group and the Odisha government, asking whether they could “banish God” and “destroy the faith of the tribals” who deem sacred a hill picked for bauxite mining.

The bench of Justices Aftab Alam, K.S. Radhakrishnan and Ranjan Gogoi asked whether “you can dig out the Nizamuddin Dargah or the dargah at Ajmer” when the Naveen Patnaik government insisted the Niyamgiri Hills was its property and contested the tribals’ belief that God existed there.

“Even if nothing is there, you can’t destroy the faith of those people. We are not talking about the entire hills but the highest point where the tribals believe their God exists. They believe he is on the hilltop. Can you tell them take away your God to another place? Are you banishing the God?” the bench asked.

The Union ministry of environment and forests had in 2010 cancelled the state’s permission for the mining on the ground that green norms and the tribals’ special rights to occupation and worship had been violated.

The judges today posed the queries after senior state counsel Aryaman Sundaram assailed the ministry’s decision and said there was no record or proof to show any temple or tangible idol that the tribals worshipped on the hilltop.

The court said it would be appropriate for the company and the state to seek the consent of the gram sabha for the mining activities as mandated under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

“Under the act, the gram sabha has to decide the issue. Its consent has to be obtained, why should we interfere? Why did you put the cart before the horse?” Justice Alam, heading the bench, asked.

Sundaram argued that while prior consent was essential, it was not “imperative”. “Consent is not imperative at all. I am the state government, it is mine. I can’t be prevented from taking up industrial activities.”

The judges then asked what would happen to the faith of the tribals for whom the hilltop was sacred. “For them it is faith. Can you dig out the Nizamuddin Dargah or the dargah at Ajmer?” the court asked.

Sundaram responded by saying the hilltop did not give tribals any right to worship and that “the hill is not sacrosanct”. The court retorted: “Yes, nothing is sacrosanct except bauxite mining!”

Solicitor-general Mohan Parasaran will tomorrow begin arguments putting forward the Centre’s position. But the ministry had earlier opposed the state’s claim that there is no habitat on the hills.

 

 

Faking Happiness- Vedanta Khushi vs Vedanta ki Vedana #socialmedia #CSR


vedanafinal11

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)

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK- AND LET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOW- submit your entries here

https://www.facebook.com/events/498091896917401/

 

Faking Happiness: Activists Strike Back at Vedanta Ad Campaign


 

by Freny Manecksha, CorpWatch Blog
May 30th, 2012

Vedanta Resources, a UK based mining and metals company with numerous projects in India, is attempting to claim to be social responsible via a huge advertising campaign. However activists have struck back by effectively using social media tools to counter Vedanta‘s claims.

“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 earlier this year 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.

The company announced an initiative for students at media and film institutes to produce short films about the company that would then be judged in competition by a heavy-weight jury consisting of Pandey, actor Gul Panag and noted director Shyam Benegal who had championed “art cinema.” (Benegal’s early films realistically depicted feudal conditions in rural India).

Vedanta was already well known in India but for very different reasons. Several years ago, the company applied for a license to mine for bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills of Odisha and to set up an accompanying refinery. The refinery was set up at Lenjigarh but the manner in which the company flagrantly flouted laws regarding land acquisition and displaced people and did not adhere to environmental norms aroused huge anger among the local population.

In 2010 the license to mine for bauxite was denied after an impassioned protest by these populations and especially by the Dongria Kondhs, an indigenous population, who believe the mountain is their god. The protest was given weight because of a damning report by the high-level Saxena committee that was submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Vedanta appealed and the case now rests in the Supreme Court in Delhi.

In March this year shortly after Vedanta launched its public relations campaign, things went off the carefully planned script. A few caustic comments on social networking sites fuelled anger against Vedanta which then went viral.

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, a human rights activist from Mumbai, penned an open letter on the Web to film maker Shyam Benegal whom she hailed as “a voice for the voiceless.” The letter appealed to him to pull out of the jury of the competition because “Vedanta is not creating happiness but it is faking happiness.” Embedded in the online letter were several videos made by activist Surya Prakash Dash that captured the anger and anguish of the Kondh community.

Critics charged that Vedanta’s attempt at burnishing its reputation – spearheaded by Priya Agarwal, the 22 year old daughter of the company’s executive chairman Anil Agarwal – had been timed before the crucial final hearing in the Supreme Court on April 9, for Vedanta’s appeal to be allowed to mine bauxite. (A decision is expected this August)

An online petition was launched on Change.org to Ambika Soni, the information and broadcasting minister, was launched demanding that the film be pulled from TV, attracting dozens of angry comments and thousands of signatures.

“Vedanta Creating Happiness…this is as true as Iraq having Weapons of Mass Destruction,” wrote Sushil Yadav. “It’s like Hitler pretending to be Mother Teresa,” added Reboni Saha.

Ashok Thurai, another commenter, noted that parallels between Vedanta’s action in central India and the film Avatar which pits the (fictional) indigenous Na’vi against the RDA corporation mining for nobatium people on planet Pandora.

Following the activist onslaught, Benegal and Panag withdrew from the jury saying they were unaware of Vedanta’s role in the competition.  “My bad. Just got full details. I wasn’t aware that the competition was past of #vedanta glorification/PR Have pulled out]” tweeted Panag.

Activists also struck back with their own competition asking for creative content on the topic of “Faking Happiness.” Blog posts, short films, cartoons and spoofs poured in on Facebook and YouTube that charged Vedanta with falsehoods.

One film – by Nakul Sawhney – focused on disadvantaged young children like Binno whose parents’ rights to land, forests and pure water water had been snatched away. It was interspersed with interviews with actual villagers from the Niyamgiri hills like Kurmali Majhi of Simlibhatta who spoke of community lands being acquired by brute force.

Another film – by Manasi Pingle – remixed a Coca Cola jingle and visuals with public data to puncture the myth of “sunshinewali asha” (hope for sunshine). For example the film noted that for every Rs. 6 (12 US cents) that the government spends on health and family welfare, it gives away Rs 95 ($1.90) in tax relief for corporations.

At the end of the day, Vedanta’s PR campaign appears to have backfired badly. “(I)t would appear that Vedanta is less the leader in sustainable development and social responsibility in India’s universe of corporations, and more the black sheep of that world,” concluded novelist Chandrahas Choudhury in an editorial written for Bloomberg.

Vedanta- “Creating Happiness “results declared ” Chori Chori Chupke Chupke “


Binno

 

 

The twitter doe snot say it – https://twitter.com/#!/planethappiness, no tweet after 19th March

The  Facebook page does not say it –https://www.facebook.com/creatinghappiness no post after 30th March

The website does not say it- http://www.creatinghappiness.in/index.html

But the results of ‘  Creating Happiness’ have been declared in a hush hush  manner as compared to its thundering Launch with the binoo ad in March this year. The Binoo ad also disappeared from channels now why was that I wonder ?

The ‘  Faking Happiness”- Team has got this EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS  😉

RESULTS ARE DECLARED

1.Pehchaan NIFT, Delhi

2. Company Thilidukoalal Christ University, Bangalore

3.Kamala ki Kahaani,NIFT, Delhi NIFT Delhi 

Lookout  for more updates 🙂

Lets Vote- “Faking Happiness “- Spoof Ad Competition in reply to Vedanta’s ‘ Creating Happiness”


In today’s times when much of media is sold out to corporates, the only voices that show the truth of malpractices of various mining giants are a few activists and documentary filmmakers. Vedanta‘s strategy to organize a film competition on their ‘community initiatives’ is such a fool proof masking of their real face. By organizing such a film competition and sponsoring 114 students from top media and film schools in the country including FTII, Whistling Woods, Symbiosis, School of Convergence, MGR FTI, IIMC, Assam University, Xavier’s, Christ University, AAFT, ZIMA, Tezpur University, IP College and Ravenshaw to produce films on itself…Vedanta knows how to make opinions about itself and how to control the ‘could be’ voices of future.

With jury panel consisting of Shyam Benegal and Gul Panag , who have withdrwan now , the jury only has piyush pandey .

The ad you can see here

Objective- This campiagn is to UNMASK the TRUE FACE of corporates, which they tend to hide beautifully through their r CSR AD FILMS fool people, while on one hand they indulge in human rights violations on other hand they glorify their peice meal appraoch of CSR criminal corporations using these feel good advts, need to eb EXPOSED, and that what precisely the ” faking happiness’ campaign intends to do

You see an AD Print, Video which you feel is blatantly lying about their work and using it as an image building method, you make a spoof of that ad and send to us at

CATEGORIES

1. ad films

2printad

3. any other

The entries have be added in the sub pages here, each entry is in a page so you can like it and give a vote once,

In some cases wherein the entry cannot be embedded you need to go to the link, hence .. the entries by one person will be in one page and if you like anyone entries or more, you can vote in the comment

so lets rock and roll 🙂

The Entries are below

faking-happiness-nakul-sawhney

faking-happiness-coke-manasi-pingle

vedanta-faking-happiness-rizvi-amir-abbas-syed

vedanta-spoof-movie-sundeep-narwani-and-team

faking-happiness-animations-surya-shankar-dash

faking-happiness-animations-kamayani-bali-mahabal

faking-happiness-print-ads-rizvi-amir-abbas-syed

faking-happiness-fair-and-lovely-ad-shrungar

faking-happines-coco-cola-mohammad-zafar

faking-happines-crocodile-in-water-tiger-on-land-a-non-profit-equal-opportunity-collection

Camera Obscura and the manufacture of happiness- Vedanta


English: Photograph of Shyam Benegal in his of...

Image via Wikipedia

Aman Sethi and Priscilla Jebaraj, march 6, The HIndu

Hostile online campaign takes some of the shine off Vedanta‘s promotionals.

An advertisement flooding airwaves across the country would have you believe that a company called Vedanta is a creating a product called happiness. A young child called “Binno” plays, studies, and thinks big dreams in one of India‘s lusher and more idyllic villages. Binno’s joy, the voice-over says, is relatively recent: Binno’s parents probably didn’t have as much fun or as many dreams as Binno does.

Binno’s parents don’t dispute the claims, but it is safe to assume that they certainly didn’t have ad-firm Ogilvy and Mather on hand to film their childhood as part of the first national campaign to signal the entry of controversial mining and metals giant Vedanta into the happiness market.

London-based Vedanta Resources is the holding company for a host of Indian and international companies like BALCO, Vedanta Aluminum, Sterlite, Sesa Goa, and Cairn India Ltd with annual revenues in excess of $11 billion. The company’s rapid expansion has attracted the ire of environmental activists and human rights groups like Amnesty International who have accused the company of exploiting indigenous communities — such as the Dongria Kondhs of Niyamgiri in Odisha — without due process.

The company is also involved in litigation over a proposed university in Odisha, and a separate case in Chhattisgarh in which 45 labourers were killed in a construction accident in their BALCO plant in Korba. Company spokespersons have denied such allegations and say that the company has improved the lives of thousands of individuals through employment and social initiatives implemented by the Vedanta Foundation.
Telling its side of the story

Vedanta’s “Creating Happiness” campaign, according to company spokesperson Senjam Raj Sekhar, is part of an “initiative to tell our side of the story”; yet the hostile reception on blogs and social-media networks like Facebook and Twitter highlights the risks of exposing a tightly controlled corporate message to the anarchy of the internet.

Case in point: The television commercial starring Binno is merely the launch pad of the campaign, which also includes a film competition, in which media and mass communication students from 21 institutions across the country were invited to make three-minute films on the company’s various Corporate Social Responsibilty projects. An online campaign appears to have influenced film director Shyam Benegal and film artiste Gul Panag‘s decision to withdraw from the competition jury.

Activists have even started a viral “Faking Happiness” campaign in an attempt to highlight Vedanta’s alleged malpractices.

Read more here

 

Happiness Quotient Vedanta’s corporate campaign sparks off a controversy


English: Piyush Pandey

Image via Wikipedia

Buisnessworld , 03 Mar 2012, Prasad Sangameshwaran

The hunter becomes the hunted. Adman Piyush Pandey, known for his anti-smoking campaign and a film on the Bhopal gas tragedy, finds himself at the receiving end of a controversy. At the epicentre is a corporate film, ‘Creating Happiness’, that his agency, Ogilvy, made for Vedanta, the natural resources major that stands accused of human rights violations in tribal areas.

The ad, which features a young girl from Rajasthan who has benefited from Vedanta’s community initiatives, is believed to be the brainchild of Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal’s daughter Priya Agarwal, who works at Ogilvy. The ad would have escaped activists’ radar, but for a competition that Vedanta ran alongside the 90-second ad, inviting young film makers to make films on the company’s social initiatives. Two of the three jury members of the competition — actor-activist Gul Panag and veteran film maker Shyam Benegal — have resigned, claiming that they were unaware of Vedanta’s association with the campaign. And Pandey, the third jury member, has become the target of online activists, who posted ‘spoof’ ads on Facebook, showing Pandey with the caption “I’m faking happiness, are you?” Online activists sent appeals to I&B minister Ambika Soni to prevent the ad from being aired. And a counter competition inviting young film makers to create ‘faking happiness’ ads has been launched. “We are mixing issues that neither me nor the activists are qualified to make a judgement on,” is what Pandey, executive chairman, Ogilvy has to say on the debate.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 12-03-2012)

Read original Article here

I was asked to reply Piyush Pandey’s comment  and I did but was not  carried in the story , so here is my reply

Which issues are being mixed and where ? A clear case of playing with peoples emotions by projecting the messages in a stratigized campaign to fool people into believing what it shows,a documentraish  branding, patronising our history and poverty.It is an aggressive attempt at classical conditioning from a company whose brand recognition has been closely connected to its questionable practices in precisely the kind of tribal areas where this ad claims it is ‘creating happiness’ and just look at the selected jury, Gul Panag and Shyam Benegal, the socially conscious celebrities in the world of cinema, who were actually kept in dark, that its a VEDANTA PR EXCERCISE There is something called professional ethics, I hope Mr Pandey knows that very well, so act of keeping jury in dark was totally unethical . The Films in creating happiness are produced by Vedanta , funded by vedanta, and telling people what great work they are doing, Its like judging own production , and using the filmakers to say what vedanta officials wanted to say, but could not as no onE would have then believd them obviously .

Open letter to Piyush Pandey on Vedanta’s “Creating Happiness”


To

Executive Chairman &National Creative Director India and South Asia

Ogilvy & Mather Pvt Ltd

21st Feb, 2012

Dear Mr Piyush Pandey

Greetings !

You are the Icon of  Indian advertising Industry and I was delighted to know that you  have  been appointed as the brand ambassador for D&AD White Pencil Award. The new award from D&AD has been announced for an idea that raises awareness or changes behaviour around a pressing social, environmental or health issue. This is a significant initiative in the world of communication.

Your  mile sur humara tumhara’ for the National Literacy Mission in 1988  got etched in our collective Indian advertising  memory years ago. . As also your  anti smoking ads  for the Cancer Patient association  which won you  two Cannes Gold Medals in 2002. 

In 1999  “Bhopal Express” – a film based on the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 that was co- written by you, acted as a catalyst in bringing to the forefront  the human rights violations committed by Union Carbide , a  corporate genocide. You supported the cause of Bhopal gas victims, and  I respect  you for that.

After  so many socially responsible ad campaigns  by you  I was aghast  to see  Vedanta’s  “Creating Happiness” ad . Recently unveiling the campaign you said The Vedanta ‘Creating Happiness’ campaign is extremely close to my heart for it’s all about enabling India. I have worked on this campaign along with my team as an excited young copywriter and I look forward to the people of India not just appreciating Vedanta’s efforts, but getting inspired to do something on their own to make India happier place. http://www.mxmindia.com/2012/01/vedanta-group-unveils-first-ever-national-corporate-campaign/

May I ask you, if you really know whether Vedanta has enabled or disabled India ?  Whether  Vedanta has protected the environment of the tribals in India, or has been on land grabbing spree and attacking peaceful protestors?

I urge you to visit Niyamgiri hills, I am sure you will love the paradise on earth, which  Vedanta is hell bent on destroying .

Niyamgiri Hills, named after the Niyamraja, the main deity of the Donagria Kondhs, are one of last untouched wildernesses of Orissa. Rising to a height of more than four thousand feet, it is the source of Vamshadhara river as well as major tributaries of Nagavali rivers. Niyamgiris form a distinct phytogeographical zone because of its height and its highly precipitous topography . It has some of the most pristine forests in Orissa. Niyamgiri flora is of ‘great phyto-geographical importance’ as the hilltops harbor high altitude plants with Himalayan/North Indian and Nilgiri/South Indian elements. Preliminary studies show that it has approximately 50 species of important medicinal plants, about 20 species of wild ornamental plants, and more than 10 species of wild relatives of crop plants .

The forested slopes of the Niyamgiri hills and the many streams that flow through them provide the means of living for Dongaria Kondh and Kutia Kondh, Scheduled Tribes that are notified by the government as ‘Primitive Tribal Groups’ and thus eligible for special protection. In addition, the Dongaria Kondh, whose total population is 7952 according to the 2001 census, are regarded as an endangered tribe. Schedule V of the Indian Constitution which enjoins the government to respect and uphold the land rights of Scheduled Tribes applies to the entire Niyamgiri hills region. While the Kutia Kondh inhabit the foothills, the Dongaria Kondh live in the upper reaches of the Niyamgiri hills which is their only habitat.

In the polytheistic animist worldview of the Kondh, the hilltops and their associated forests are regarded as supreme deities. The highest hill peak, which is under the proposed mining lease area, is the home of their most revered god, Niyam Raja, ‘the giver of law’.

They worship the mountains (dongar from which the Dongaria Kondh derive their name) along with the earth (dharini). These male and female principles come together to grant the Kondh prosperity, fertility and health.

According , ‘Report of the four member committee for investigation into the proposal submitted by the Orissa Mining Company for bauxite mining in Niyamgiri’, dated August 16, 2010, by Dr N C Saxena, Dr S Parasuraman, Dr Promode Kant, Dr Amita Baviskar. Submitted to the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India.

English: An ethnic Wife of Dhaneshwaran from t...

Image via Wikipedia

”As Narendra Majhi, a Kutia Kondh from Similibhata village, said, “We worship Niyam Raja and Dharini Penu. That is why we don’t fall ill”. Sikoka Lodo, a Dongaria Kondh from Lakpadar village said, “As long as the mountain is alive, we will not die”. Dongaria Kondh art and craft reflect the importance of the mountains to their community— their triangular shapes recur in the designs painted on the walls of the village shrine as well as in the colourful shawls that they wear. All the Dongria and Kutia Kondh villagers that the Committee conversed with emphasized the connection between their culture and the forest ecology of the Niyamgiri hills. Their belief in the sacredness of the hills is rooted in a strong dependence on the natural resources that the mountains provide. Their customary practices in the area include agriculture, grazing and the collection of minor forest produce (MFP).All Dongaria Kondh that the Committee spoke to expressed their strong attachment to the Niyamgiri hills, their stewardship of the land, and the legitimacy of their rights arising from their long-standing presence in these hills. They strongly voiced their contentment with life and their opposition to any destructive change of the ecology threatening their culture. As Sikoka Budhga said, “We can never leave Niyamgiri. If the mountains are mined, the water will dry up. The crops won’t ripen. The medicinal plants will disappear. The air will turn bad. Our gods will be angry. How will we live? We cannot leave Niyamgiri.”

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.The latest high court verdict states that Vedanta cannot circumvent conditions issued by India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), stipulating that plans for expansion of the refinery should go through a fresh environmental and social impact assessment and a public hearing process. Residents of 12 villages who live in the shadow of the massive refinery – mostly Majhi Kondh Adivasi (Indigenous) and Dalit communities who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods – have long campaigned against the expansion.India’s great land grab continues, with police forcibly evicting tribal villagers in Orissa from land sold to UK-based Vedanta Resources to use as a toxic waste dump .

In your various interviews you have time again said you get creative insights from the people you interact with and also while you make ad campaigns you relate to the common man.I urge  you to go and find for yourself what Vedanta is doing to Niyamgiri Hills and talk to the tribals yourself to know the truth.

Meanwhile I would like you to see  activist Satyabadi Naik’s shocking video of police crackdown on a peaceful protest by women of Rengopalli and other villages against Vedanta’s toxic Red Mud Pond in Lanjigarh. This video was recorded on 23 Jan 2012. Watch the Video  urgent-villagers-protest-against-vedanta-red-mud-pond

Soem more films on the  REAL FACE OF VEDANTA

The Real Face of Vedanta

Niyamgiri – The Mountain of Law

iii. The Protector of the Streams

iv. Controversy over best environmental management award to vedanta

Now after reading my letter and watching  the videos you tell me , is  Vedanta “ Creating  Happiness “ or ‘ Faking  Happiness” ?

Regards

Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal

Mumbai

Open letter to Shyam Benegal on Vedanta’s Creating Happiness


Dear Mr Shyam Benegal

Greetings !

I met you  first on a flight from  Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai in 2008 , and   I  considered myself to be lucky to meet you and used the  opportunity to talk to you for Dr Binayak Sen’s Release, the video     I was so delighted to find a voice in you for human rights and a voice for the voiceless- the tribals, who have been suppressed and have been the victims of the so called development model aggressively supported by the Government and our middle class for whom infrastructure amounts to development of the nation and will make india the super power at the expense of displacing the tribals.

Today I am aghast to know that you are in the jury of Vedanta’s “Creating Happiness Film Competition” , a short film contest for India‘s student film makers by Vedanta.

The claim by Vedanta on their  website http://www.creatinghappiness.in/about_us.html is the biggest  scam  of the century.

Do you know ?

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.

Zambia’s biggest mining company, Konkola Copper Mine (KCM), owned by Vendanta, in 2007  caused widespread water pollution when its acidic effluent entered the Kafue River, the main source of water of about 2 million people in the area. In Armenia it underwent a criminal investigation into its unlawful gold operations and was disallowed from any further activity in the country. In November 2007 the government of Norway withdrew all investments in Vedanta after its Ethical Council concluded the company ‘has caused serious damage to people and to the environment as a result of its economic activities’

A special monitoring body set up by the Supreme Court of India, the Central Empowered Committee, has submitted several reports highlighting the irregularities and corruption and recommended that the permission to mine the rich forests of the area should not be granted to the company. This report was also important in the decision of the Norwegian Council of Ethics ( See:  CENTRAL%20EMPOWERED%20COMMITTEE%20report.doc for this report).

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.

The 2010  Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests ( MoEF) report  says govt-panel-says-vedanta-violating-guidelines_446875.html

“That displacement, loss of livelihood, pollution, non-payment of compensation of land and objections to the project and its effects are some of the causes for discontent and protest” & “That these are aspects that are integral to the lives of the Dongria Kondh (local tribes people) and do not appear to have been considered while deciding to open up the mountain top for mining,”

The latest high court verdict states that Vedanta cannot circumvent conditions issued by India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), stipulating that plans for expansion of the refinery should go through a fresh environmental and social impact assessment and a public hearing process. Residents of 12 villages who live in the shadow of the massive refinery – mostly Majhi Kondh Adivasi (Indigenous) and Dalit communities who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods – have long campaigned against the expansion.

India’s great land grab continues, with police forcibly evicting tribal villagers in Orissa from land sold to UK-based Vedanta Resources to use as a toxic waste dump . Activist Satyabadi Naik’s shocking video of police crackdown on a peaceful protest by women of Rengopalli and other villages against Vedanta’s toxic Red Mud Pond in Lanjigarh. This video was recorded on 23 Jan 2012. Watch the Video  urgent-villagers-protest-against-vedanta-red-mud-pond

Vedanta is not creating happiness but it is faking happiness, and  in the short films below you will see the REAL FACE OF VEDANTA

The Real Face of Vedanta

Niyamgiri – The Mountain of Law

iii. The Protector of the Streams

iv. Controversy over best environmental management award to vedanta

I hope after reading my letter and seeing the videos you will also pull out from the Jury of Vedanta like Gul Panag did, when she became aware of the various human rights violations by Vedanta. The  film competition ends on March 20, 2012  and I hope you will  truly stand for human rights of the people of Odisha.

Infact, I would like to invite you to be  on  the jury of an independent film competition  on human rights violations by corporates “ Faking Happiness “, I will send you the details soon.

Regards

Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal

Mumbai

Feb , 20, 2012

Related Links

https://kractivist.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/open-letter-to-piyush-pandey-on-vedantas-creating-happiness/

 

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