Amar Oraon coming from Kaziranga in Assam is just 7 years old. He was running errands along with his brother at the request of his mother who wanted tomatoes from the neighbourhood shop. He was shot at in the leg which later was claimed by the forces to be an accident. Treatment and assurance of making his leg as it was before bullets were pumped into it, government provision of quality education for him and a job for his father were all promised. The family hopes at least the treatment cost is borne. A casual job given with about Rs.7000 per month his father claims is fraught with dangers and often brings him into a confrontation with nearby villagers as it involves checking of trespassing into areas demarcated by Forest department. The BJP-led State government has just been deaf to their pleas. They were in Delhi for the treatment of an infection the little boy has on the wounds which haven’t been properly treated.
AIKS and Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan along with Jeepal Krishak Sramik Sangha raised this issue as well as State repression against activists fighting forced eviction and extra-judicial killings in Kaziranga National Park. Reportedly about 106 people were killed in the last 20 years and 57 only in the past three years – 27 in 2014, 23 in 2015 and 7 in 2016.
Amar is clearly writhing in pain. At an age when kids his age would be running behind football, he has bullets embedded in his legs.
Save your Tigers, Save your Rhinos and Elephants. Let that not be a pretext to evict Tribal people and Forest Dwellers to create avenues for corporate profit in the name of Eco-Tourism. Spare a thought for Amar and thousands who are forced to lead a life in fear and insecurity. Raise your voice against such insensitivity.