Jadugoda once a lush green forest, turned into the largest uranium mine in India in 1965. Just after a few years of independence, the Indian govt. established a Uranium mining zone to produce nuclear energy and arsenal, by clearing vast areas of forest land and displacing hundreds of tribal inhabitants.
A series of scientific reports highlighted the fatal consequences of improper radiation management in the radioactive mines of Jadugoda, but still the increasing presence of “tailing ponds” (deposits of toxic slurry left from processing Uranium ore) and the burgeoning rate of miscarriages, cancer, tuberculosis, and genetic disorders among the people living in its vicinity betrays the blatant ignorance of the authorities. Toxic wastes from the mining zones also contaminate and terminate the aquatic life of Subarnarekha River, the only source of running water that flows through the nearby villages.
The entire ecological balance of Jadugoda, has been suffering due to this mining. Conflagration is the main way to destroy the forest in mining regions. Villagers are enormously losing their land, houses, and facing health crisis for this. From the beginning of the modern era, nature has begun to be destroyed in the name of development. We are constantly forgetting the importance of our coexistence with nature on this planet. Scientists reported that if the mining of Jadugoda comes to an end now, then the radiation will still remain for the next 200 years. The way we harm the environment, this is the ultimate time to stop this. Otherwise, any unmediated intervention or radical change in the environment does not only result in devastating effects but also pose a threat to the human race itself.
My work engages with the narratives of people living around the mining zones of Jadugoda and the historically rooted exploitation of land, water, creature, and other natural resources by powers that chose to ignore the condition of people who were originally its inhabitants.