Tribe slams Ernst & Young award to Vedanta chairman

Dongria Kondh children.
Dongria Kondh children.
© Jason Taylor

The award of the ‘Indian Entrepreneur of the Year’ prize to Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal has been met with derision from the Dongria Kondh tribe, whose sacred mountain Vedanta plans to destroy.

Vedanta plans to turn the Dongria Kondh’s sacred mountain into a vast open pit mine, which will destroy a swathe of untouched forest. The tribe say they will lose everything if the mine goes ahead.

Dongria Kondh spokesman Jitu Jakesika said today, 'Why are they giving him a prize? They should award Anil Agarwal a prize for the worst human rights in India.'

Ernst & Young’s ‘Global Code of Conduct’ states, ‘We reject unethical or illegal business practices in all circumstances. We avoid working with clients and others whose standards are incompatible with our Global Code of Conduct.’

Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Unethical business practices apparently do not include gross human rights violations, forced eviction of tribal peoples, or a corporate indifference to the “severe and lasting damages that its activities inflict on people and the environment”. These are all charges that the Norwegian Government found proved against Vedanta only last year.’

Vedanta’s deplorable human rights record prompted the Norwegians to dispose of their $13 million stake in the company. Edinburgh-based investment managers Martin Currie and the BP Pension Fund have also recently sold their holdings.

For more information please contact Miriam Ross at Survival International on (44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (44) (0)7504 543 367 or email [email protected]