While protests around the country are getting more and more creative, here is one man who has decided to draw attention to the perils of using non-renewable energy and the dangers of coal allocation in forest areas.
Living atop a tree since September 1 as a mark of protest, 32-year-old Brikesh Singh, a cyclist and climber, says, “I think fundamentally, it boils down to selfishness. ‘As long as my family is unaffected why should I bother?’ — this attitude needs to be changed. First, we need to acknowledge the fact that we are headed for troublesome times. We are all in a state of denial today and have to make a drastic change in our lifestyle.”
Located inside the buffer zone of the Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district, Brikesh’s tree house a.k.a Junglistan Nivas, is equipped with all basic amenities like water, a mattress, a solar lantern and solar panels to charge his laptop.
He keeps in touch with supporters through social media and shares his experiences in the jungle while also urging people to become citizens of Junglistan, a virtual republic encompassing Central India’s last remaining forests, by signing an online petition.
He has also been asking people to sign the online petition addressed to the Prime Minister asking him to stop all coal block allocations in forest areas.
According to him, coal mining in the forests of Central India which is the largest habitat of tigers will destroy indigenous forest communities and other wildlife.
It is about time that the government considers renewable energy as the solution.
“More than 100,000 hectares of forest land in Central India is on the verge of being destroyed. This will cause massive environmental damage including air and water pollution. Yes, we need electricity but not at the cost of our forests. My one-month stay in the forest has taught me that we have infinite resources at our disposal. However, it is all about choosing a more intelligent approach towards using these resources,” says the Greenpeace activist who further adds, “For instance, my tree house is situated next to a stream. The tiny fish nibble the dead skin on your feet. Villagers look for mushrooms and bamboo shoots on the river bed all the time. Nothing really goes to waste in the forest.”
However, one of the shepherds from the village recently told Singh that the days of the stream are numbered as it has been diverted recently from its natural flow and turned towards a coal mine.
This way, the mine can mix their dirty water in the stream and get away with their responsibility of purifying water waste.
“We need to put an end to such baseless acts. This particular move will not only deprive villagers of water but will also destroy wildlife,” opines the activist.