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We’re inhabitants of jungle…How would we survive in cities?

Deshdoot Times DT City News DT Features

We’re inhabitants of jungle…How would we survive in cities?

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NASHIK: In the dust and heat of political controversy over the ambitious and long-pending project of the proposed construction of a dam across Nar-Par rivers which may turn out to be a lifeline for whole of North Maharashtra, the tribals which have been the natural inhabitants of jungle and dwelling in the valley of the Nar-Par rivers however have registered their strong opposition to the construction of the dam across the Nar-Par rivers.

“Even if we get compensated in exchange of our land, we are sure we would not be able to make our both ends meet in cities. We are the natural inhabitants of the jungle. How is it possible for us to survive in cities?,” echoed the Adivasis from the valley of the Nar-Par rivers, with teary eyes believing that construction of the proposed dam is even more dangerous for our survival than facing prevailing drought situation in the valley.

Zari, a small village, with an estimated population of 200 people comprising close to 75 families, is situated at a stone throw distance from the Par river. As a rule, various government schemes reached there..not on ground…but on paper.

Amidst drought, one well is having abundant water, while another one at the nearest distance is in a dried up condition. While for their livelihood, tribals work in the field of paddy during monsoon, for constant employment during the rest of the period of the year, they prefer to go to other taluka places to work on farm fields.

As far as employment opportunities for the tribal youths are concerned, they work in companies for a few months period only. This is how the economy of a tribal village runs.
The tribals who are distant away from the comfort lifestyle of urban people and struggling with different problems, are now seem to be in disarray and worried over the proposed constrution of Nar-Par project in the valley as they think that they will lose not only their land but also will have to leave their villages and migrate to elsewhere.

There is a confluence of Nar-Par rivers near Zari village. The water of the Narpar flows to Gujarat. At present the government is working on an ambitious project of building a dam over these rivers by blocking its water. It is said that construction of the dam will benefit largely to regions of Baglan and Malegaon besides North Maharashtra.

“Due to the proposed dam, our villages will be inundated by. We will lose our own presence…leave aside our culture,” opined irate tribals who have been battling their life in the jungle for generations. This is a true picture of the dismal living conditions of the tribals in the valley.

We are the natural inhabitants of jungle. How is it possible for us to survive in cities? It will be difficult for us to pass our time in cities. We know very well about land acquisition from our past experiences.

Government takes our land but does not imeplement rehabilitation programme on the ground. We are ready to co-operate for downstreaming of water to cities, but would you give us land in lieu of this? questioned Sadu Ratad, a villager from Zari.

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