Wednesday, Dec 07, 2022
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The Colonialism Within: Adivasi Lands Being Colonised In Cahoots With Corporates

Opinion

The Colonialism Within: Adivasi Lands Being Colonised In Cahoots With Corporates

The unabated exploitation of Adivasis and their land for resources may well lead to their extinction from their homeland

Artwork by Mayank Kumar Shyam from the private collection of Ajay Kumar Gupta

In their villages, the Adivasis have their own land. Their ancestors had worked hard to prepare these fields by clearing the forests and battling wild animals. They till these lands now. They do have grains to last a year, but as soon as they go out of the village and into the market, they want to educate their children, buy oil, soap and salt. They do not possess the money, so they sell paddy, ragi and gondli, a type of millet, at very low prices to traders who camp in the villages with their sacks ready or roam around in vehicles. Whatever money they earn, they use it to educate their children and buy some basic necessities like oil, soap, salt and clothes.

If some year, the paddy in the house runs out, or the crop fails, they migrate to the city to work as labourers and also force their children to find some work at a young age. The children drop out of school and move to the cities to work. Some of them send money back home and sometimes visit their families. But some of them never return to their villages. Girls often disappear in the cities. Their parents do not have the money to look for their lost children in the cities. At times, the children start liking the cities and they do not want to return. This is the reality of many Adivasi areas.

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