The channel cleaning project is important to agriculture as it revives the water bodies which are clogged up. As a result the nearby land under cultivation gets adequate water for cultivation. The onus lies with the Government to do these pro-farmer activities to increase the crop-yield from the lands. Some corporate do take up this role as part of their CSR activities.
Sterlite Copper’s CSR activities have managed to clean the channels in the villages of Udankudi, Tholappan pannai, Idayarkadu, South author, Arumuganeri, Arumugamangalam, Sivakalai. Over 51.5 Kms of channels have been cleared in these villages which has benefited over 11,100 farmers who have around 11700 hectares of land under cultivation.
Going by the testimony of Mr Rajan, a farmer from the village of Idayarkadu, from the video above, one can conclude that the recent Sterlite Copper CSR activities have been a boon for the farmers in the villages surrounding Tuticorin. The farmers in the area have been knocking the doors of government offices to help with the channel cleaning, but it fell on deaf ears. He says that channel cleaning activities will benefit the 1500 acre land under cultivation. He wants the company to be reopened as many young graduates have lost their jobs.
The company’s CSR activities, that are being appreciated by the farmers in the villages nearby, didn’t go down too well with the activist Fathima Babu. In the video,activist Fathima Babu claims that Sterlite Copper’s act of extending their helping hand towards the schools, institutions, farmers is wrong. She has complained about the company’s CSR activities to the district collector. She warns that Sterlite Copper’s CSR activities, which have helped the farmers in the locality, will lead to law and order situation in the area.
Mr Sintha, leader of Tamirabharani Farmers association, along with the group of farmers from that village have pledged their support for the opening of the company. In the video, he says that CSR activities have helped the farmers in the area surrounding the Thamarabharani river. The channel cleaning activities have immensely helped the villagers.
The environmentalist Fathima Babu’s stance against the CSR activities and her statement that the activities will lead to law and order situation in Tuticorin have been heavily criticized by the farmer. He wants the Government to probe into the accounts of activists like Fathima Babu, and questions her motive of visiting the collector’s office every week to submit a petition against the company. The fishermen community in the areas nearby have been influenced by the false propaganda spread by the activists are the only ones against the company, while the majority of the people want the company to be re-opened.
When one looks at the different sides of this particular event, the following questions would arise in his mind:-
- Why are the environmental activists protesting against environment conservation activities?
- Even if a corporate company is involved in the activities, eventually it’s the farmers of the villages who’ll be benefited. Why is there a petition being filed to the collector every week against this?
- Have the environmental activists lost track of their agenda of saving the environment because of blind hatred towards a corporate?
While the company’s CSR activities seems to have irked the Anti-Sterlite Copper activists, it has gone down well with the farmers and majority public in the villages nearby.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SatyaVijayi.