Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Those who belong

Odd term, this. Indigenous. It means native. Natural. Innate. Those who belong to a place.

And in this world of ours, those who belong, those who have the most right over land and resources, if indeed any of us have more of a right over a given territory than any other person - these people are the ones who seem to be getting the worst deal.

According to a UN report:

In Australia, an indigenous child can expect to die 20 years earlier than his non-native compatriot. The life expectancy gap is also 20 years in Nepal, while in Guatemala it is 13 years and in New Zealand it is 11... While indigenous peoples make up around 370 million of the world’s population – some 5 per cent – they constitute around one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people. Every day, indigenous communities all over the world face issues of violence and brutality, continuing assimilation policies, dispossession of land, marginalization, forced removal or relocation, denial of land rights, impacts of large-scale development, abuses by military forces and a host of other abuses.

3 comments:

Gauri Sharma said...

They are the hidden faces....they are somewhere...some where here...somewhere there...in this corner, in that corner...we can't integrate with them , oh rather they can't integrate with us as they are so "different"...not "civilised".....oh those "such different looking, behaving people" let them remiain in that corner.

Batul said...

Oh, I didn't realize this. Somehow, I always thought of the displaced immigrants as the worst off. But I guess, that is because of my own interactions.

Ron said...

A rum tale, isn't it? You lament the fact that these people are so poor. But they are poor not least because the land they live on is also poor, and there's only so much wealth you can generate out of such remote, scattered, holdings. All the same, in many cases, land is the only asset they possess. But whenever a private developer steps forward to buy it from them, all hell breaks loose.
So how do you think their lot would improve? The government's tax revenues are not infinite.

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