More than 1000 slum dwellers residing inside Aarey Milk colony gathered at unit no 5 on Sunday morning during a huge protest rally organised by NGO Jaan Aadhar Samajik Pratishthan. The rally was organised as a mark of protest against the demand by some environmentalists and NGOs to declare Aarey Milk colony as an eco-sensitive zone and forest.
It should be noted that the 'Save Aarey Conservation' group and 'Save Aarey Community' have installed banners in Aarey Milk colony explaining to the locals that they should be alert from some NGOs which are spreading misleading information.
The Jaan Aadhar Samajik Pratishthan which claims to be working for the protection of Environment and rights of slum dwellers and tribal in Aarey Milk colony had organised a protest which saw a huge participation from people.
The local slum dwellers who participated in the protest said that they won't leave the houses if Aarey is declared as Forest and they want their resettlement and rehabilitation to be done in Aarey Milk colony only.
It should be noted that the banners installed by Save Aarey Conservation group and Save Aarey Community at various locations in Aarey Milk colony are seen as an answer to the banners that were installed by NGO Jan Aadhar Samajik Pratishthan.
Stalin Dayanand from NGO Vanashakti and an active member of Save Aarey Conservation group said, “We have installed the banners in Aarey Milk colony because it was important to clear our stand by explaining how some NGOs are misleading people by provoking them. We just want to tell people that we have never demanded that the people from Aarey Milk colony should be removed. In fact we want the people to get their rights and so people should not believe in misleading information."
The banners installed by Aarey Conservation Group and Save Aarey Community also alleges that the local NGOs which claim to be fighting for the right of the slum dwellers and tribals want the people staying in Aarey to be removed and resettled near a plot close to Western Express Highway near goregaon and thi has been allegedly planned to favor few people who can get the benefit of using the land that is vacated once the slum dwellers are shifted.
On December 9, mid-day had done a story (Mumbai: Activists, locals clash over demands to declare Aarey a forest) in which it was stated that how even as activists are demanding that Aarey Milk Colony should be declared a forest and receive protection as an eco-sensitive zone, a local NGO has now opposed this, claiming it was nothing but a ploy to displace tribal residents and slum dwellers from the area.
The banners were put up by NGO Jaan Aadhar Samajik Pratishthan which claims to be working for the welfare and rehabilitation of slum dwellers in Aarey Milk colony. The banners put up by NGO 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.