Tribals in India have been badly hurt rather than being helped by India’s pursuits of development. The suffering of almost 80 million tribals in India has increased with the increase in large industrial, mining and irrigation projects, leading to massive deforestation and displacement. The fast depletion of forests due to industrialisation and SEZs has affected the life of around 533 tribes.
The annual rate of depletion of vegetation is estimated to be around 1.5 sq. kms per year. The proliferation of stone quarries and stone crushers in India’s continuing quest to exploit its natural resources to the maximum has ensured that entire landscapes, erstwhile populated by various tribes, have regularly been converted into vast areas full of pits, where nothing can be produced and cultivated. Worse, the winds carrying stone dust from these machines, apart from causing cancer and other fatal lung diseases, pollutes the air, reduces the fertility of the soil and collectively gives rise to large-scale soil erosion, effectively hitting the tribals where it hurts the hardest. Who takes the blame for such tribal tribulations? It’s the butler, stupid! The government, of course!