Dongria Konda tribe lived under the threat of mining by Vedanta Resources, which hoped to extract the estimated $2 billion-worth of bauxite that lies under the surface of the hills for its 1 million-tonne-per-annum alumina refinery in neighboring Lanjigarh, which had been operational since 2007. The company planned to create an open-cast mine that would have violated Niyam Dongar, disrupted its rivers and spelt the end of the Dongria Kondh as a distinct people. The Dongria Kondh tribe inspired millions when they won a ‘David and Goliath’ battle against mining giant Vedanta Resources. The tribe vowed to save their Niyamgiri Hills and their self-sufficient way of life.
Economic times: An attempt by OMC to convince the Supreme Court to hold gram sabhas for a second time was quashed in 2016. When asked if the government would try again to mine in the region, Lado Sikaka, a resident of Lakhapadar and one of the local leaders of the movement, says people here will not let that happen.
“Let our blood flow like a river, but we won’t allow mining.”– Lado Sikaka