The food security of the poor villagers in the
Dandi island of Orissa is at stake due to the constant threat of eviction from state authorities and other vested interest groups. No assurance of proper rehabilitation and resettlement is made to the victims.
This island is not being recognized by the state as an official village, despite its existence since last 25 years. As an immediate consequence the inhabitants of this village are deprived of their basic human rights as a citizen of the country. The villagers do not enjoy the basic civic amenities including medical facilities, education, PDS and different food security schemes, sanitation and drinking water facilities. In a recent initiative, in the name of
'development', the Orissa Government wants to convert this virgin island into a tourist spot for generating profit. A Salt Manufacturing Company has also slated to come up for the lease of this island.
The lack of clarity on the status of the island has made the villagers more vulnerable as they are often facing threats from various government departments i.e. Revenue and Forest. FIAN West Bengal has taken up this case for several years. Besides organising several local interventions of human rights experts and activists, recently in collaboration with FIAN International, FIAN West Bengal has conducted an International Fact Finding Mission at Dandi to understand the whole situation in depth and support the victim groups to establish their land rights through advocacy and lobby work. The FFM team has also met the DM of Baleshwar and discussed the issue with him.
FIAN West Bengal & FIAN International in collaboration with local support group IMSE will take urgent steps to intensify national and international campaigns to highlight the violations of RTF in Dandi. FIAN West Bengal has already sent the case to UN special Rapporteur on RTF and FIAN International will
follow-up the process at UN level.