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Monday, August 8, 2022

We Ask an Activist What the Aarey Forest Decision Means for Other Citizen Movements

We Ask an Activist What the Aarey Forest Decision Means for Other Citizen Movements 

 


On Friday, the recently- formed Maharashtra government reversed a corner policy on timber conservation. It has decided to shift the queried metro exfoliate that would involve slice trees in the Aarey timber, a stretch located in Goregaon. The proposed metro exfoliate threatens the livelihood, homes, and security of nearly,000 ethnical people in the area, in addition to risking the indigenous knowledge and ecological wealth that rests there. Over time, the “ Save Aarey ” movement has grown in intent and purpose to represent a larger fight against the occupation of India’s precious natural timber coffers for artificial and “ development ” reasons. 


The Swaddle’s Saumya Kalia speaks to Neelam Ahluwalia, who laboriously campaigns for all timber and terrain juggernauts across India, to understand the part of citizen movements around the climate extremity, and what's lost by undoing#SaveAarey, and the earnings made since. 

 

The Swaddle What was achieved through the Aarey timber kick as a citizen- led movement? 



Neelam Ahluwalia I flash back that night in October 2019 when the Maharashtra government removed 300 plus trees in Aarey. So numerous Mumbaikars from different walks of life reached the point to save the trees. It was so inspiring to see their pain. A many citizens were arrested that night for standing up for their green lungs. Environment groups across India shared in tweetstorms demanding that the charges against these Mumbaikars be dropped. In 2019, the former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray- led MVA government in Maharashtra decided to shift the metro depot out of Aarey, following citizen demurrers against its construction in one of many remaining green areas in Mumbai. latterly, the MVA government- designated Aarey colony as a reserve timber. This significant palm in the Save Aarey struggle gave stopgap to timber contenders fighting to cover their flora in different corridor of India that there's light at the end of the lair. 

  

While the fight to Save Hasdeo timber in Central India has been a ethnical- led movement that has inspired Indians across the country, the Save Aarey crusade has been an civic movement that has inspired numerous megacity folks to stand up for their natural ecosystems. Mumbaikars used the power of social media and Tweetstorms veritably effectively to amplify the cause of saving their civic timber and the Save Aarey timber crusade got a lot of public and transnational support. When the Aravalli Bachao crusade was started to save India’s oldest mountain range in February 2019, we learned a lot from the Aarey struggle. crucial people of the Aarey crusade guided and supported us. They encouraged the Aravalli Bachao platoon to start our social media handles to reach out to a wider followership and also file legal cases for the protection of the Aravallis. 


TS What does the reversal mean for timber saving movements and the station towards climate action overall? What's lost with the new state government’s decision? 

 

NA Citizens across India stand in solidarity with the Aarey timber to vehemently expostulate to the ecocidal decision of the new Maharashtra government to make a metro auto chalet in this pristine ecosystem. This autocratic decision of the new government is fully against the will of the people of Mumbai. This construction exertion will open the door for real estate development in Aarey, leading to the destruction of Mumbai’s green lungs, a critical water recharge zone, and wildlife niche. 


At a time when the world is witnessing unrecoverable climate change and 2021- 2030 has been declared by the United Nations as the ‘ Decade of Ecosystem Restoration ’ calling all nations to cover and restore natural territories, it's veritably disheartening to see India’s tagged leaders taking one ecocidal decision after another and opening our timbers for marketable, real estate, mining, and artificial development. What will we do with all the structures and mines when we lose all our carbon sinks and our lifelines for fresh air and water security? As India destroys its timbers in one state after the other in the name of “ progress, ” the impacts of climate change and nature’s fury will strike us harder creating wars over water, food, and other coffers in the coming many times. The future of our children is being monstrously compromised. 

 

TS What bearing does the resolution have on indigenous knowledge and the people who live in the colony? 



NA There are numerous ethnical communities and wild creatures living inside Aarey. This timber is their home. They've lived then sustainably for eons. The structure of the metro auto chalet will affect in the slice of old- growth trees and the destruction of the timber. Reduction in the niche will lead to an increase in cases of man- beast conflict. 

 

TS It took an immense fight for Aarey to be conceded as a timber rather than grazing land. The same goes for Aravalli Bachao and rescue Hasdeo. What's the future of citizen- led demurrers in leading climate activism? How do people reignite a fight they allowed they had won? 


NA Citizens won't give up the good fight to Save Aarey or our other timbers across India. With India being one of the most vulnerable nations to the climate extremity, we can not go to give up. The fight to save Aarey and our other natural territories will continue. 

 

But also to put the decision in perspective Aarey timber is generally a megacity timber. Whereas Aravallis are spread across four countries; Hasdeo too is spread across a much bigger area( Last month, three mining systems in Hasdeo’s Aranya, Chattisgarh, were put on hold indefinitely due to the inexhaustible activism of original citizens). It’s much much bigger. We still have to do what we've to do. It’s not the end of the road — the contest will go on.



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