Activist protest Golden Peacock award by WEF to Vedanta Alumina in Himachal

seminaar _5__0001PALAMPUR: Twenty activists representing environment and social action groups today barged into the World Environment Foundation’s (WEF) opening ceremony of the ‘Global Convention for Climate Change‘ being held at the Palampur Agriculture University grounds with posters and banners screaming “Stop greenwashing corporate crimes” and “Stop selling climate change“. The activists were protesting against the WEF’s Golden Peacock award to the Vedanta Alumina Limited for its refinery in Lanjigarh Orissa. The protesters gathered in front of the stage after a tussle with the organisers and managed to seize the stage microphone, and highlight the various environmental crimes and human rights violations that the company has indulged in not just in its Orissa project but other project sites across the country.

seminaar _8__0001The activists briefed the Tibetan Prime Minister in exile – Samdhung Rinpoche, who was present as a Chief dignitary at the function about the national campaign that has built up against the company and the devastation caused by the company in Orissa. He immediately walked out of the venue at this point. Subsequently, hundreds of children from schools in Palamapur, present at the ceremony, who cheered as the protest gathered momentum, also left the venue. Delegates of the conference at the venue were also given pamphlets as well as the letter written to the jury, endorsed by more than 170 organizations, asking for the withdrawal of the Golden Peacock to Vedanta.

In January 2009, WEF withdrew the Golden Peacock Award given to Satyam Computers, literally days before the company submitted its fraudulent balance sheet to shareholders. “We do not expect any integrity from the organizers of the Golden Peacock Awards. However, many of the jury members are persons of good reputation and integrity. We are concerned that your decision may have been arrived at in the absence of full information. We would also like to give you an opportunity to review some disturbing information regarding the conduct of Vedanta and its subsidiaries, and to dissociate yourselves from the award to Vedanta to avoid a Satyam-style embarrassment,” endorsers to the letter to jurors wrote.

gggGuman Singh, leader of Himalaya Niti Abhiyan who spoke on behalf of the campaign appreciated that Chief Minister of Himachal who was to be the Chief guest at the function had withdrawn his participation from the event after pressure from the campaign and the controversy around awardee company. Mamata Dash, an activist from Orissa tried to draw the attention of the delegates towards the crimes committed by Vedenta on the Dongria Kondh adivasis in the Niyamgiri hills for its bauxite mines. Just as she began speaking Madhav Mehra, founder of WEF, tried to shove her off the stage. After a scuffle with the activists, Mehra made a statement that he had no interest with Vedanta and that they would review the award and even withdraw just like they had done in the Satyam case if the facts were found to be true. As the tussle continued between the activists and the organizers, the ground echoed with slogans like “WEF down down” and “Vedanta company chor hai!”. As the protestors left the venue, to save his face Madhav Mehra tried to trivialize the issue and only spoke of all the “good work” done by Vedanta.

A senior journalist from Palampur.

9 Comments

  • its a shame that golden peacock awards have gotten scott free each time, they should have been banned after the satyam fiasco. hats off to the environmentalists..they should expose these fake awards company & men behind it and govt. of india should takwe severe measures to control these money-making so called award companies like golden peacock awards.

    • It goes on to show that end of the day people are really interested in what is good and not the bad that fakes to be good… there is a need for more of such action. What a great job by the activists!!!

    • Rekha must not be misled by Ravinder Sood. He has a vested interest in WEF.

      Golden Peacock Awards are the pride of India. This is the only India based award which is treated as an oscar of excellence all over the world. Its measure of excellence is that World’s top companies apply. Vedanta story is a canard spread by vested interest. It was one of the shortlisted but was not given award.

      India’s narrative of success owes its orign to the Awards set up in 1992. The then president of India , Shankar Dayal Sharma acclaimed it as a hall mark of corporate success. Sayam received the award because it was rated the best BPO as per the audited acconts of PWC. It was withdrawn immediately when it was discovered that management had cheated.

      The activists who terrorised the thousands of children assembled at the University grounds on 12 June were simply misled for personal greed. They should be condemned for vandalising the conference where hundreds had come from world over to celebrate Himachal because of Dr Madhav Mehra , the greatest son of Himachal. He has invested millions of pounds to make Palampur a Davos. He is setting up a Univeristy of Corporate Governance in Himachal, the only University of its kind anywhere in the world. Please help his mission to put Himachal on the world map and in particular to make Palampur and Dhauladhar a UNESCO protected heritage site.

  • Any Corporation that has misdeeds to hide does not deserve Peacock or any other award . The contribution of those providing the non Rosy aspects is creditible . The
    fact that many well meaning jury members are used by providing them only the Rosy aspectsf. This is when many suffer the pain & bleed because of the thorns whose existence is denied , as the sufferers are the poor , triabals , Such awards will be deemed orchestrated if honest assessment is not done. Denial of tribal peoples rights ,irreversible ecological distruction in this time of known ecological crisis , in the name of economic growth of few is not justified

  • ONLY THE DESERVING ONES, THOSE WHO HAVE DONE THEIR BEST FOR THE MOTHER NATURE, FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, FOR THE BETTERMENT OF HUMAN BEINGS BE AWARDED. LET THE AWARD BE EARNED BY THE DESERVING. SINCERTIY IN IDENTIFYING AS TO WHO IS THE RIGHT CANDIDATE, ENTITY TO BE DECORATED WITH THE HONOUR …. AND THAT TOO IN THE NAME OF THE NATIONAL BIRD …..

  • The disruption of the global climate change convention in Palampur was motivated and a conspiracy was hatched to vilify the awards. It had nothing to do with the plight of Kondh tribe. A report to this effect is already registered with local police.

    WEF is one of world’s most respected envronmental charities registered in the UK and India separately for the past 12 years. It is sponsored by UK’s Charities Commission and is headed in India by Dr S Z Qasim, former member Planning Commission a world accclaimed scientist and oceanologist. WEF has done monumnental work in raising public consciousness on enviornmental issues and works closely with schools and businesses. It has had a huge impact in raising environmental compliance by businesses through the Golden Peacock Awards to the extent that Indian companies environmental performances are being praised even in international conferences. This fact was evident from the casestudies in the Convention which Mamata and her cronies tried to destroy. Among its 300 delegates and speakers were 55 experts and some representing top companies whose presentations showed how they had cut emissions to the turn of 70% when Kyoto wanted only a fractional reduction.

    The function that Mamata and her cronies disrupted had nothing to do with Golden Peacock Award . Vedanta had already been removed from the list and Mamata was told. But she was not prepared to listen. She was even asked to share the dias. But she refused and continued abusing even the foreign speakers. She intimidated children and said she will get them arrested. These children had come to read essays on environment and on selection were to be awarded a trip abroad. She put paid to all their dreams in the name of Kondh tribe and thus made a mockery of he poor both in Orissa and Himachal.

    WEF organises an annual conference on environment at Palampur to project the plight of local tribes – Gaddis and the degradation of the pristine environment .

    Vedanta was recommended for award on the basis of the self assessment but the jury had raised questions and because Vednata had not responded it was not recommended for award and that decision was taken way before the demonstrations led by Mamata at the Himachal University on 12 June.

    Mamata has destroed the credibility of environmnetal organsations to such an extent that there are calls for banning these charades as they are doing the greatest harm to the environment.

  • Golden Peacock Award and co has done a great job especially for Himachal.
    i wish our land had some more people like them.. we would have been better off .. thanks to Golden Peacock Awards for bringing Himachal on the Corporate Map Internationally

  • The disruption of the global climate change convention in Palampur was motivated and a conspiracy was hatched to vilify the awards. It had nothing to do with the plight of Kondh tribe. A report to this effect is already registered with local police.
    WEF is one of world’s most respected envronmental charities registered in the UK and India separately for the past 12 years. It is sponsored by UK’s Charities Commission and is headed in India by Dr S Z Qasim, former member Planning Commission a world accclaimed scientist and oceanologist. WEF has done monumnental work in raising public consciousness on enviornmental issues and works closely with schools and businesses. It has had a huge impact in raising environmental compliance by businesses through the Golden Peacock Awards to the extent that Indian companies environmental performances are being praised even in international conferences. This fact was evident from the casestudies in the Convention which Mamata and her cronies tried to destroy. Among its 300 delegates and speakers were 55 experts and some representing top companies whose presentations showed how they had cut emissions to the turn of 70% when Kyoto wanted only a fractional reduction.
    The function that Mamata and her cronies disrupted had nothing to do with Golden Peacock Award . Vedanta had already been removed from the list and Mamata was told. But she was not prepared to listen. She was even asked to share the dias. But she refused and continued abusing even the foreign speakers. She intimidated children and said she will get them arrested. These children had come to read essays on environment and on selection were to be awarded a trip abroad. She put paid to all their dreams in the name of Kondh tribe and thus made a mockery of he poor both in Orissa and Himachal.
    WEF organises an annual conference on environment at Palampur to project the plight of local tribes – Gaddis and the degradation of the pristine environment .
    Vedanta was recommended for award on the basis of the self assessment but the jury had raised questions and because Vednata had not responded it was not recommended for award and that decision was taken way before the demonstrations led by Mamata at the Himachal University on 12 June.
    Mamata has destroed the credibility of environmnetal organsations to such an extent that there are calls for banning these charades as they are doing the greatest harm to the environment.

  • The Golden Peacock Awards are the most prestigious awards and has Illustrious jury. Yes there are some companies who are not doing well but they are projecting fake reports like vedanta and Satyam. Golden peacock awards set up competitions amongst the corporate to improve quality, social responsibility, innovation and to save environment and have not given awards to those who present false report for which they deserve appreciation.

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