Jan 132014

kondhas tribal people

The Indian environment ministry has finally rejected Vedanta Resources’ plans to mine Niyamgiri, Orissa for bauxite. After many years of campaigning, this is amazing news for the Kondhas, three of India’s most isolated tribal groups, who live in approximately 200 villages located across the hill range.

The largest of these tribes, the 8,000-strong Dongria Kondh, has dwelt there for centuries. Along with the other two, the Kutia Kondh and Jharania Kondh, its people enjoy an intimate relationship with the Niyamgiri Mountain. For years, though, they have lived under the threat of losing their homeland to the mining company.  Continue reading »

Dec 212013
tackling rural isolation

Earlier this year, 25 people appeared on stage at the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre in Taunton. Their performances were deeply personal, written by themselves about themselves. Had they known two months previously what they would be doing, many would have run a mile. Some people barely had the confidence to walk through the door of the continue reading

Oct 312013
beginning to feel the fear

I’m getting that scared-but-excited and daunted-but-can’t wait feeling in the pit of my stomach. It can only mean one thing: rehearsals start next week. It’s a while since I’ve been in the rehearsal room; much of my role as Co-Director of Theatre at Take Art has been to support others in making theatre. So I’m continue reading

Aug 192013
fight continues for dongria kondh homeland

news update: ”India’s Dongria Kondh tribe has overwhelmingly rejected plans by notorious British mining giant Vedanta Resources for an open-pit bauxite mine in their sacred Niyamgiri Hills, in an unprecedented triumph for tribal rights.” Survival International (19 Aug 2013) On 18 April 2013, the Indian Supreme Court rejected an appeal to allow Vedanta Resources’ to mine the Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa for continue reading

Jun 212013
dams, landslides and flooding disaster in uttarakhand

The news coming out of India about the widespread flooding is devastating. ActionAid reported earlier today that “The situation here is catastrophic. People’s houses and animals have been washed away and many roads have simply disappeared. Our partners in the region have reported that nearly 5,000 people are still missing in Kedarnath, presumed dead.”

Apr 262013
polio eradicated in india but legacy remains

Earlier this week The Guardian reported that polio has almost been eradicated across the world. The total number of reported cases worldwide fell last year to an all-time low of 223. Until 2002, India had the highest number of polio cases  per annum. Now it’s not had a confirmed case for two years. The disease continue reading