“Protection of Natural Resources means Protection of Humanity”-Says the 2017 Goldman Prize Winner Prafulla Samantara

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Bhubaneswar: In a Press Meet today at Lohia Academy, the Goldman Environment (Green Nobel) Prize winner of 2017, Prafulla Samatara remembered Rabi Ray, the founder Member of Lokshakti Abhijan and gave him the credit for the award.
Addressing the media he said, “Rabi Ray was the inspiration and motivation behind my social activism.” Besides, he gave credit to all the community based sangathans fighting to save the natural resources in Odisha. He held that Niyamgiri Surashkya Anadonala is a successful movement which has been proved as remedy for the world climate change and for the destructive development model. He is of the view that this Golden Prize is the indicator of the victory of the tribals who are fighting and scarifying their life to save their motherland from the greedy corporates. This prize recognizes the importance of protection and conservation of Niyamgiri Hills and of Dongaria Kandhs.
“Along with Jal, Jamin and Jungle now onwards Lokshakti Abhijan will carry forward the fight for the cause of farmers, dalit, tribals of the State and will organize awareness programmes for the poor and youth students.” He declared.
In the Press Meet, Samantra also announced that “the monetary value of the prize will not be my private property rather it will be spent towards the campaign for the protection of natural resources, to provide justice to the displaced people and will be spent towards the development of language and culture of the Niyamgiri tribals. Besides, programmes will be undertaken in the memory of Rabi Ray.”
He has also extended his gratitude to all the people who have congratulated him for the award.
On the occasion, Prafulla Samantra has called upon the Govt. of India and Odisha to change the so called development model and to stop corporate loot of natural resources; urged all the politicians, administrators, intellectuals and individuals advocating for the so called ongoing development model to bring changes in it and to bring an alternative sustainable development model; to bring a National Natural Resource Use and Management Policy. He opined that in true sense the protection and conservation of the nature means protection of the humanity.
He also urged upon the State Government to stop police repression on the Niyamgiri tribals and to implement the historic Forest Rights Act, 2006 in all the villages of the State having forest land.
On the occasion, Mrs. Laxmipriya Mohanty- Vice-President, Kalyan Anand-Secretary, Trilochan Punji and Braja Kishore Pradhan-members of Lokshikti Abhiyan were present in the Press Meet.

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