Deep in the Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa, the Dongria Kondh tribe have been fighting a decade-long battle against London-based mining company Vedanta, who have turned these jungles into a battleground. The Dongria Kondh worship the Niyam Dongar hill under which lies two billion dollars worth of bauxite and a fat share that will be pocketed by the Indian government.
Over the next few weeks, Vedanta’s fate will be decided by the Dongria Kondh at gram sabhas held at 12 out of over 130 villages that will be affected if the mining goes ahead. “The government has never given us medicines, schools or roads and now Vedanta will do that for us? They can go back to London and mine there. We will not give up Niyamgiri”, said Gajendra Gaud at the Tadijhula village gram sabha held two days ago.