The Paraja are the main tribes of Orissa. According to the 2011 census, there are 74,253 Parajas in Orissa’s Nabarangpur district.
The Parajas have lived in India since the 2nd century AD. Their original hometown was in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region. They emigrated to Orissa. They are a collection of different sections. They show greater cultural differences compared to other tribal communities. These differences can be seen in living structures, decoration, economic life, clothing, beliefs, customs, folk and cult traditions.
The native language of the Paraja tribe is Porji. It is a type of Gondi that belongs to the Dravidian language family. The Paraja are hill growers. They love the wealth of cows. However, they do sedentary farming in Orissa’s Nabarangpur district.
The Orissa government expanded the bauxite mining project to HINDALCO. This project was proposed on Mali Hill. The Parajas in the area are strongly opposed to this project. According to them, the project will destroy their lives. About 170 families live in this area. They also claim that there are 36 perennial streams on the hill (a stream with water 365 days a year is a perennial stream; a stream with water only in certain months of the year is a seasonal stream. is). The stream is affected by mining. Degradation also affects dense forests and hillside wildlife. The Parajas grow rice, sugar cane, vegetables and wheat all year round and cultivation is seriously affected. In addition, the Parajas get shrimp and fish from streams. Tribal resistance to the bauxite mining project dates back to the year 2003. In the year 2006, HINDALCO received environmental approval for bauxite mining. The area has 14 million tonnes of bauxite reserves. The company has been approved to mine 600,000 tonnes.
About EIA report
Environmental impact assessments in the region state that no stream in the region is perennial. However, environmentalists and people in the region claim that these streams are of great importance to the Parajas. In addition, these streams play an important role in supplying water to the upper Kolab Reservoir.