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People & Power
Mountain and mine
A look at India's Khond people's fight to save their god - and why they have a reason to celebrate.
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2010 15:31 GMT

The Niyamgiri hill range in the Indian state of Orissa is a god to the Kondh people who live there, a deity providing all their needs.

But the hills also contain massive deposits of bauxite, or aluminium ore, which Vedanta, a British-based mining corporation wants to extract.
 
For several years, supported by an international coalition of NGOs the Kondh have campaigned hard against Vedanta's plans for the Niyamgiri.

The company in turn, won the backing of the Orissa state authorities.
 
Last month the Khond had something to celebrate when Jairam Ramesh, India's environment minister, ruled against the development and criticised Vedanta for violating environment laws.

Sapna Bhatia's report for People & Power last year details the Khond's fight for their sacred lands.

This episode of People & Power can be seen from Wednesday, September 15, at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 0600, 1230; Thursday: 0130, 1400, 1930; Friday: 0630, 1630; Saturday: 0330, 2030; Sunday: 0030, 0530; Monday: 0830.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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