Mine – Story of a Sacred Mountain
This short film, narrated by Joanna Lumley, tells the story of the Dongria Kondh’s resistance. Vedanta are intent on constructing an open-cast mine on their land and thereby destroying the tribes sacred mountain and with it everything they know.
The Dongria’s defeat of the mine is now in peril as the issue returns to the Supreme Court.
To be a Dongria Kondh is to live in the Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa state, India – they do not live anywhere else. Yet Vedanta Resources is determined to mine their sacred mountain’s rich seam of bauxite (aluminium ore).
There are over 8000 members of the tribe, living in villages scattered throughout the Niyamgiri Hills.
They call themselves Jharnia, meaning ‘protector of streams’, because they protect their sacred mountains and the life-giving rivers that rise within its thick forests.
To the Dongria, Niyam Dongar hill is the seat of their god, Niyam Raja. To Vedanta it is a $2billion deposit of bauxite.
Vedanta’s open pit mine would destroy the forests, disrupt the rivers and spell the end of the Dongria Kondh as a distinct people.
The Dongria, and neighbouring Kondh tribals who also revere Niyam Raja, are determined to protect their sacred mountain.
They have held road blocks, a human chain and countless demonstrations against the company.
A Vedanta jeep was set alight when it was driven onto the sacred plateau.
Hope for Niyamgiri
The Indian government has refused to grant final clearance for Vedanta’s mine, choosing to place the Dongria Kondh’s rights above the company’s balance sheet.
But Vedanta has refused to respect the wishes of the Dongria and the government. The battle for Niyamgiri is now back in the Supreme Court of India.
The fate of the Dongria Kondh and their sacred mountain once again hangs in the balance.
"Vedanta has come here to destroy the Dongria. We will drive them away. They don’t have any right to touch our mountains. Even if you behead us, we are not going to allow this."
VIDEO The Real Avatar: Mine - Story of a Sacred Mountain
Mine, narrated by Joanna Lumley, tells the story of the remote Dongria Kondh tribe's struggle to protect Niyamgiri, the mountain they worship as a God. London-based mining company Vedanta Resources plans a vast open-pit bauxite mine in India's Niyamgiri hills, and the Dongria Kondh know that means the destruction of their forests, their way of life, and their mountain God.