People For The Planet
A campaign to amplify the powerful voices of the people of the forests
India is a country of diverse cultures and geographies, and this diversity is her outstanding pride. The sea hits her shores to the South, the Himalayan mountains stand tall and mighty to the North, the vast desert hides mysterious wonders in the West, and evergreen, untouched forests foster life in the East. Each of these wondrous landscapes harbours human life and communities of different forms and faces, creating an unparalleled myriad of colourful cultures. However, more often than not, there is one set of cultures that gets ignored in conversations about India’s diversity – the indigenous communities that inhabit the country’s forests and natural landscapes.
India’s indigenous, tribal communities – the first people, the Adivasis – contribute towards much of India’s diversity in culture and livelihoods. But culture is not the only thing that these communities are special for; they are also people who are deeply connected with nature – a rare and valuable contribution, and a much-needed one today. Adivasi or indigenous communities have been a part of natural ecosystems for centuries, building their culture and way of life around their relationship with the forests they inhabit. Even today, they remain to be some of the finest examples of harmonious human coexistence with nature. Truly, thus, they are the people who live with, and for, the planet.
Unfortunately, the Adivasi and indigenous communities of India (as well as other communities like the Kolis who live within and depend on natural ecosystems) are facing unprecedented threats to their livelihoods and cultures in different ways. Deforestation for exploitative development is affecting their land and increasing human-wildlife conflict, pollution is destroying the natural resources they depend on, climate change continues to affect them disproportionately, and their rights are often threatened to be taken away from them.
Many of these affected communities have historically joined hands and spoken out against these threats and continue to do so, but many of their voices are either silenced or left unheard. Whether it is the Gond communities in Chhattisgarh, the Idu Mishmi community in Arunachal Pradesh, the Koya community of the Lakshadweep islands, or the Kotia community in Andhra Pradesh, all of them are fighting to save their natural ecosystems and livelihoods, and their fight needs to be known by every citizen of the country.
To amplify these significant voices, Fridays For Future (FFF) India has come up with a campaign called “People for the Planet” – for the people who truly live for the planet, and together with nature and all other beings. FFF India plans to hold this campaign for ten consecutive days – from 15th August to 30th August – to bring to the limelight the struggles and voices of ten different communities threatened by deforestation and loss of livelihood in different parts of India. As a part of this campaign, FFF India will showcase the stories of the communities mentioned earlier, along with a few others.
At Fridays For Future India, we strongly believe in and are committed to achieving proactive climate action and sustainable development through citizen activism and strengthening policies. We look forward to a future when our forests, wildlife, and communities dependent on them return to a state of perfect harmony, without destructive projects threatening their lives and livelihoods. Every step we take and every campaign we formulate is dedicated to this precious goal, and we hope to gain the support of citizens and other organisations in this endeavour.
People for the Planet (PFP) is a campaign through which Fridays For Future (FFF) India aims to amplify the voices of indigenous communities of India that continue to be threatened by habitat loss and displacement. At this very moment, an innocent forest-dweller is losing their home to deforestation for development and linear construction projects. As a movement dedicated to environmental well-being, FFF India takes up the responsibility to amplify the voices of the original stewards of the land, through the PFP campaign.
And this is where the People for the Planet campaign needs your help. FFF India is calling on non-governmental organisations, Instagram pages, communities, groups and clubs, influencers, bloggers, content creators, and every single individual concerned about the environment to participate in this campaign, so that the voices of Indian indigenous communities, Adivasis, can reach a global audience. The PFP being a social media campaign will involve posting and reposting awareness-based content about affected communities. FFF India will provide each participant with the content for 10 days - the entire duration of the campaign.
What will set this campaign apart from all others is that FFF India, while putting up posts on Instagram and other social media about these communities, will hold “Instagram Storms” for each of these stories. These Instagram Storms will be much like the Twitter Storms that the movement (along with many others) has already been engaging in; in this case, all the participants and people involved in the campaign will be encouraged to put up Instagram stories and posts about the same topics at the same time, based on the content that will be provided. Through this, FFF India, along with all the campaigners, hopes to spread awareness and education about the communities’ important stories of perseverance, far and wide across the social media platform. Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms today, and also gives the opportunity to portray greater visual detail.
Along with this, FFF India also plans to invite representatives from different indigenous community andolans or movements to speak about the issues they face and the change they hope for, on its platforms through live sessions and webinars.
To participate, interested groups and persons will be required to fill this registration form, after which FFF India will get in touch with the content to be posted:
FFF India acknowledges and appreciates the efforts of many of you - organisations, groups, as well as individuals - to spread awareness about environmental issues in India and around the world, and is confident that you recognize the value of speaking about the indigenous people of India. With this in mind, FFF India requests all of you to be a part of this campaign and participate in the Instagram Storms, which have the potential to reach hundreds and even thousands of people around the country and world.
It is important that indigenous, Adivasi voices, experiences, and needs should be at the center of conversations around Climate justice. As we ally ourselves with Indigenous communities fighting for their rights and survival, we can offer our assistance by amplifying their voices on our existing platforms of support. People for the Planet is one such platform that FFF India would like to offer to the communities, and for this endeavour, it would immensely appreciate your support and participation.