On the fringes of the Adivasi resistance

Sumud fact-finding mission in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, India
Mar 17th 2011
Adivasi child from the Koja tribal group.
Selecting and packing the required pharmaceuticals.
Crossing into the Naxal-controlled area.
Lawyer Raghunath Verose with malaria-infected Sunam Chendi.
After diagnosis medication is handed out and application explained.
Remnants of Shamanistic healing practices.
Rama Krishna of Posagudem village. Are you Hindu? No, I am Koja!
Entering Maita village which hosts the only well of the area.
Water being carried to adjacent hamlets.
No schooling for the children.
Widespread malnutrition.
No treatment for simple illnesses.
Preparing food.
No water retention available: few agricultural work in the dry period.
Roaming for our car's key which has been taken by the local people's militia.
Main disease: malaria.
Children playing with harmless arrowheads.
The Koja speak their own language.
Bow and arrow is used for hunting and in self-defense against the Green hunt.
Rice: main crop, main food.
According to local Adivasis' own estimate life expectancy is little above 40.
Contamination of drinking water one of the main problems.
Ramanala Laxmaiah (l) and Kogela Ramaswanai of Tudum Debba.
Chicken being plucked.
Fire for cooking.
Wooden plow with iron reinforcement.
Sickle and harness to extract palm juice.
Extracting juice to produce an alcoholic dringy called Toddy.
Public building collapsed by a blast some years back.
The premise was had been used by state military forces and therefore attacked.
Closed school due to the conflict situation.
Back on the Andhra Pradesh side of the border outside Maoist control.
Everywhere communist memorials.
Bandigumpu, a village of displaced belonging to the Gutikoja tribe.
Muska Irma with a dangerously infected wound.
The Gutikoja are listed as Primitive Tribal Groups i.e. below Scheduled Tribe.
Tudum Debba meaning Adivasi drum.
Agricultural land around Badrachalam where Adivasis had been expelled.
Residential school for Adivasis: only a few percent get serious education.
School kitchen: free food is decisive.
Schooling is not in Adivasi languages.
A Maoist roadside pamphlet fixed in the jungle in Hindi language, Chhattisgarh.
Maoist demands: stop the war on the people named Green hunt.
Animist religious site.
Village of displaced called Tippa Puram originating from inner Chhattisgarh.
They belong to the Kondaredlu tribe.
Contrary to the areas under Maoist control they did not want to speak with us.
Also in areas under governmental control no school.
Presumably they migrated both because of Salva Judum and economic plight.
Irrigation dam: holding no titles Adivasis get displaced from upgraded land.
Adivasi labourer.
Varavara Rao (l), one of the most renown Telugu writers and revolutionary.
Meeting on the roofs of Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee

In February 2011 the anti-imperialist voluntary organisation Sumud conducted a fact finding regarding the Adivasis’ resistance. We separated into two teams, one going to West Bengal and Jharkhand, the other one to Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Here some commented photographs from a visit to the fringes of the liberated areas in south Chhattisgarh right at the border to Andhra Pradesh. Actually we have been exploring the possibility for a small medical assistance project. Regarding the border zone we found out that “Doctors Without Borders” (MSF) have been operating there already for several years. It came, however, to the knowledge that urgent support is needed deeper inside. The visit has been facilitated by the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC) as well as Tudum Debba (Adivasi Drum), upon whose invitation we were endeavouring the project. We wholeheartedly thank both for their indispensable support. All pictures shot by Helena Manhartsberger. She can be contacted at: suryabro7@yahoo.com