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

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An Open Letter to the CPI (Maoist)

The tribals of south Bastar have been divided into two “groups” ever since Salwa Judum began in June 2005. A section has been reduced to the status of internally displaced persons in their own land and are staying in Salwa Judum camps. But now they want to return to their villages. People belonging to another large section have been living in the deep forests of Chhattisgarh and in the adjoining districts of Andhra Pradesh, having abandoned their villages in fear of an attack by the Salwa Judum. But these tribals too want to return to their villages.

In an attempt to restore peace in these areas, the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram (VCA) adopted a village called Nendra and decided to rebuild the lives and livelihoods of tribals of the village. The VCA deputed a “Human Shield Team” to Nendra that stayed there and supported the tribals who were willing to resettle. The VCA f acilitated the return of 18 Nendra families residing in the forests of Andhra Pradesh. Gradually, the tribals of Nendra began to venture into the local weekly markets of Errabore, escorted by members of the Human Shield Team. Encouraged by the market visits of tribals from Nendra, other families hiding in the forests beyond N endra also began to venture out to the markets and now people from around 15 villages are accessing Errabore, Konta, Dornapal and Injaram weekly markets.

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