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Disturbing Photos From Eviction In Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary In Guwahati

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Around 700 families were left homeless after they were evicted on November 27 and 28 from Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary in the outskirts of Guwahati, Assam. The eviction was done as per the order of Gauhati High Court in the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) in and around Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary after the PIL filed by an NGO, Early Birds, in August this year.

The HC directed the state government to evict the encroachment in the ESZ and submit a detailed report by November 30. However, in August this year, the state government evicted 283 houses in Amchang but later filed an affidavit before the high court as the encroachers had agreed to evict themselves from the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ).

In the year 2004, Amchang Forest Reserve, South Amchang Forest Reserve and Khanapara Reserve Forest were put together as Amchang Forest Reserve which is spread across 78.64 sq km. In June this year, the expert committee set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) proposed 109.99 sq km in and around the sanctuary as ESZ.

The eviction was supposed to be carried out for 3-days i.e., on November 27, 28 and 29. However, on the second day, the High Court put a stay order after the government submitted a prayer before them to treat the matter with a humanitarian view. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the Environment and Forest Minister of Assam, Pramila Rani Brahma assured that the indigenous people will be rehabilitated.

It should be noted that the people had been living in and around Amchang since the 1980-1990s, after their lands and houses were washed away in floods in different districts of Assam. 1500 armed security personnel, 300 demolition labourers, eight elephants and eight bulldozers were deployed to evict the encroachers in which four people were injured.

Photo: G Plus

A schoolboy tries to collect his books after his school was demolished.

Photo: G Plus

A woman breaks down after seeing her house getting demolished.

Photo: G Plus

A house getting demolished.

Photo: G Plus

A student carries a project she made from her demolished school.

Photo: G Plus

An angry crowd pushes armed police personnel. Allegedly, no women police personnel were deployed.

Photo: G Plus

A broken group of women cry and protest against the eviction.

Photo: G Plus

Ironically, an elephant was used to demolish a temporary house.

Photo: G Plus

A group of students from Janashimalu High School near Panjabari (Amchang Forest Reserve) pray after their school gets demolished.

Photo: G Plus

A group of women shout seeing their house getting demolished.

Photo: G Plus

Police trying to disperse the angry crowd by firing tear gas shells.

Photo: G Plus

Heavy deployment of armed personnel to evict the encroachers.

Photo: G Plus

A woman is taken to the hospital after she faints after seeing her dream house getting demolished.

It’s very sad to see the houses of people getting destroyed, after being built with their hard earned money. Around 408 residential houses were demolished in two days of the proposed three-day eviction drive.

Authors Note: All photos were obtained, with permission, from G Plus.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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