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Rough Cut: One Man’s Battle Against Diamond Mining In Madhya Pradesh Forest

“To a man living around these forests, 34 million carats of diamonds have no meaning, all he’ll understand are the many zeroes…that is what his bank balance is most of the time.”

Rough Cut: One Man’s Battle Against Diamond Mining In Madhya Pradesh Forest
Rough Cut: One Man’s Battle Against Diamond Mining In Madhya Pradesh Forest
outlookindia.com
2021-08-06T15:33:55+05:30

Diamonds are for the rich… a poor man living around these forests cannot afford a diamond for his wife or daughter even with the savings of his entire life. To this man, 34 million carats of rough diamonds have no meaning; perhaps all he’ll understand are the many zeroes because that is what his bank balance is most of the time. This forest, however, is priceless for him. He knows he can depend on forest produce to earn a living and feed his family. When he dies, he knows the forest will provide wood for his funeral pyre.

—Dragpal Singh

A resident of Jhujharpura village in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur district, Dragpal Singh is not an influential politician or prominent social activist. Nor is he some renowned environmentalist or philosopher. Yet, for the past few months, he has been busy touring the nearly two dozen villages in and around Chhatarpur’s Buxwaha forest to drum up awareness about the heavy personal price locals may have to pay if a proposed private diamond mine project in the area takes...

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