ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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SINGHBHUM-A Countryside Slowly Dying

SINGHBHUM A Countryside Slowly Dying Mahasveta Devi A VISIT to Singhbhum was long under contemplation and an invitation to attend a meeting, or sammelana, of the tribals of Rajenka and other villages was most welcome. The ACC factory of Jhikpani is causing much distress in the locality and among the people, be- cause cement-dust carried by the wind is ruining vegetation. This sammelana was organised by a committee constituted by people belonging to the Jhar- khand Mukti Morcha, Kolhan Raksha Sangh, United Mineral Workers Union, Mahila Samaj of Chakradharpur, Roro Asbestos Mines, nearby villages, etc. The approach to Jhikpani from Chai- basa was marked by a changing landscape. The fields lay barren grey tinder layers of accumulated cement-dust. The trees looked ghostly, the leaves hanging listless heavy with cement-dust .In the weekly 'hat' at Jhikpani the air was filmy with grey dust. Cement-dust fell continuously, relentlessly, upon everyone and everything. Within minutes we were covered too with cement-dust The tribals bought and sold, went about unconcernedly; the open sheds selling liquor were the busiest.

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