What Priya Pillai and greenpeace were working on in the mahan forest

18 February 2015

On 11 January 2015, Priya Pillai, a Greenpeace activist was not permitted to board a flight to London, in order to prevent her from testifying about her work in India before British legislators. The Indian government justified this action by claiming that her testimony would cast India in an unfavourable light. This photo feature, commissioned by Greenpeace, documents Pillai's and other Greenpeace activists' work in the Mahan forest area in Madhya Pradesh. Essar & Hindalco—among India’s largest corporates—have been given permission to construct a new open cast coalmine around the Mahan forest. According to Greenpeace, the destruction of this forest, which is home to tribal populations as well as endangered wildlife such as elephants and leopards, will impact 50,000-plus people from fifty-four villages. Two villages will be completely razed to the ground, and their inhabitants would be relocated to ‘resettlement colonies.’

Vivek Muthuramalingam is an independent photographer and visual journalist based out of Bangalore, India. You can see his work here: http://www.vivekm.com/about/