Tribal women have known brutal displacement, fear, murder and rape at the hands of invaders, for decades. They have seen their lands taken from them, their self-respect annihilated and their futures become uncertain. Yet despite their suffering, the resistance of many tribal women is growing. They call themselves Jharnia , or, protectors of streams. In August the Dongria Kondh have overwhelmingly rejected plans by notorious British mining giant Vedanta Resources for an open-pit bauxite mine in their sacred Niyamgiri Hills, in an unprecedented triumph for tribal rights.
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All rights reserved. The tread marks in the blood-red earth are deep—and fresh. Tainaky Tenetehar climbs off his dirt bike for a closer look. Through binoculars, he scans the rolling hills of fire-scorched savanna that lead out to a tree-crowned ridge in the distance. The patrol forms a motley crew: patched jeans and camouflage and aviator shades and bandannas to shield their faces from the ubiquitous dry-season dust.