Tag Archives: Niyamgiri

Mining happiness

Bindo, Pushto and Nando may well have become household names given the amount of airtime they have been receiving lately.
I believe we have been told that little Bindo’s happy cackle is a gift from Vedanta, which is now faking, sorry, “creating” happiness.
Looks like the company, which was blamed for uprooting villages, creating environment pollution and negligently leading to mining deaths — all misconstrued allegations, I’m sure — has turned over a new leaf.
About a year and half ago just about every newspaper, channel and drawing room was buzzing with the story of Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa where an indigenous, and not to forget protected, tribe — Dongra Kondh — stood up against the mining giant for violating human and environmental rights.
But now, we stand corrected — the multi-crore worth ads inform us that the company has in fact helped people in over 550 villages with better healthcare, education and several other amenities.
Looks like it is time for detractors of the mining giant, including some former investors, to hide in shame for Vedanta is “fully committed to pursuing its investments in a responsible manner, respecting the environment and human rights”.
It was only the audacious faceless masses who got in the way of development.
Reports of toxic wastes leaching from its plants into nearby water bodies and sources of drinking water notwithstanding, scrap dealer-turned-billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta continues to ‘support communities where they operate’.
Over-reaching displaced people, damage to sacred sites and endangered wildlife, and poisoned water can be seen as just ‘collateral damage’. As for the rest, Vedanta is “creating happiness”.

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