Jadugoda: A Sacrifice | People for the Planet
India wishes to generate 63 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2030. India claims that this would cut its dependence on energy and put it on the path to progress. To gain something, they say, something needs to be lost. Jadugoda is what we are losing.
Jadugoda is home to India's only Uranium mine, that rests over the Aborigines ancestral land. They have been deprived of this land and it is now polluted with radioactivity. The lethal feed for the country's reactors is slowly destroying an entire generation of tribals living there.
Unknowingly, innocent workers inhale dust and radon, the tailing ponds cause unnecessary exposure to gamma rays and not only the lives, the product- uranium, is dealt carelessly. To make it worse, traces of other elements are also found in the samples indicating impurity. Villages in vicinity of the tailing ponds are the worst affected. During sun-seared days and loos, dust from the tailings runs through these villages. During monsoon showers, radioactive waste spills into the surrounding estuaries and rivers, causing added internal radiation because the villagers use this water for every domestic need possible including fishing.
A Jadugoda native, Laxmi Das, has had three miscarriages and five of her children lost their lives within a week of their births. When her ninth child, Gudia, survived, she was considered her a miracle until she discovered that her baby has cerebral palsy and would be bed-bound for life. Gudia lost her life in 2012 leaving her parents traumatised. In Jadugoda, this is the fate of most families.
Jadugoda, translating to the land of magic in the local dialect, was once a place of the prettiest of hills, mist and marvel, humble and hardworking tribals, but is now a perdition on earth. Left helpless, the people of Jadugoda are being sacrificed in the disguise of development.
- Esha Sharma
Chinky Shukla, www.hindustantimes.com