“We are saying with folded hands that the only thing that we want is our lands to be saved. And if not land, then at least our houses.”
The Canary spoke to a member of the remote Badi village in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. He wished to remain anonymous for his safety and for the safety of his family and other villagers. As a dairy farmer, he grazes his cattle on primarily government-owned land. His community’s main livelihood is agriculture on this shared commons. The village has been around for 600 years, and families like his have cultivated and raised livestock on the commons for multiple generations.
But his is one of at least 20 families set to lose their homes, land, and livelihoods to a solar park. It will be constructed on 1,066 hectares, spanning three villages in the district of Neemuch.
Project documents suggest that the community in Badi village will have less than 60% of their total land remaining. The villagers include members of Dalit, indigenous Adivasi, and other marginalised groups.