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

A+| A| A-

​Notes from a Coal Site

A richly endowed natural landscape becomes the site of catastrophic exploitation, threatening the very community that it is home to.

While travelling across a mineral-rich district in Odisha earlier, I came across a board titled MCL Bringing Smile in Every Hut at the entry point of Mahanadi Coal Field Limited (MCL) at Basundhara site in Sundargarh district. A quick evaluation of the title revealed two important indicators: smile, an impact indicator, and hut, a status indicator. I wondered: What are the factors that induce a hut to generate a smile in the context of extracting industries? The hut has an interesting relationship with many exogenous indicators, and more importantly, is representative of the status of a woman.

Following my sighting of the board, on a visit to the coal site, I searched for that factor which would determine the smiles of the women in these huts. Detailed interviewsmore like immersed conversationswith women across different age cohorts, provided a rich opportunity to understand the impact that the opening of a mine has on women, with the abrupt societal changes that come into play. I sought to understand how a richly endowed natural landscape is reduced to a site of catastrophic exploitation of natural resources, becoming a threat to the very community that it has been home to.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.