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.