'Aarey is our home, not a forest'

Slum dwellers in Aarey slammed activists’ demands for declaring the colony as a forest at a rally organised by a local NGO

More than a thousand residents of the slums inside Aarey Milk colony gathered for a huge protest rally yesterday morning. The rally was organised as a mark of protest against the demands of some environmentalists and NGOs to declare Aarey Milk colony as a forest and an eco-sensitive zone.

The local slum dwellers who participated in the protest said they would not leave their homes if Aarey were to be declared a forest
The local slum dwellers who participated in the protest said they would not leave their homes if Aarey were to be declared a forest

The Janadhar Samajik Pratishthan — an NGO working for environment protection, slum dwellers’ and tribal rights in Aarey — had organised the protest. The local slum dwellers that participated in the protest said they would not leave their homes if Aarey were to be declared a forest. They demanded rehabilitation in Aarey only.

The Save Aarey group and community had also installed banners in the colony explaining the locals that they should stay alert from some NGOs that are spreading misleading information. mid-day’s December 9 story, ‘Activists, locals clash over demands to declare Aarey a forest,’ had stated the dispute between the NGO and activists.

The banners put up by Janadhar Samajik Pratishthan stated, “Some NGOs have asked the National Green Tribunal to declare Aarey Milk Colony as a forest. We object to this as it is nothing but a plan to remove slum dwellers and adivasis from here.”

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