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Vedanta Won an Environmental Award in 2009? — More Sleazy Brand Remaking in 2012.

February 22, 2012

Update: From Kamayani Bali Mahal’s Facebook Update. Some good news.

“HURAAH, “I am Ram here..Shyam Babu asked conveyed that he is not on the jury of the Vedanta film campaign anymore..I would appreciate you convey that and publicize that has avidly as you did this. He had previously agreed for a friend who asked him to judge the quality of films and not because it was Vedanta”

This Vedanta? The one condemned by Amnesty International for it’s Toxic Waste Dumps?

I am late to this, but the following history of activism took place a few years ago…


Completely Great.

On the 2009 Peacock Award Controversy:

The activists highlighted the foundation’s choice of Vedanta Alumina as winner of the environmental management award to argue that the award was nothing but “greenwash” or deceptive use of “green” marketing or PR. Claiming the stage from the surprised WEF president Madhav Mehra, Mamata Dash of New Delhi-based Kashipur Solidarity Group and Guman Ji of Him Niti Abhiyan presented evidence about Vedanta Alumina’s ongoing pollution at the Lanjigarh facility.

Vedanta was allegedly chosen for the award on the basis of its claim that its controversial Lanjigarh aluminum refinery is a zero discharge unit. The company and its parent and sister concerns are mired in controversies involving human rights abuses, environmental degradation and financial irregularities including tax evasion, fraud and insider trading. Giving the 36 persons listed as jurors by WEF on their website the benefit of doubt, more than 120 people had earlier written to them with evidence on the company’s controversial track record. Dismissing the organisers of the award and the award winners as “birds of a feather,” the endorsers asked dignitaries and jurors to dissociate themselves from the awards or risk being tarred by the same brush. The Himachal Pradesh chief minister and a number of senior bureaucrats of the HP Government, who were slotted to attend the opening ceremony, withdrew in the last minute owing to the Vedanta-centred controversy around the convention.

Today, Vedanta is again being supported by people who should know better.

From an Open Letter to Piyush Pandey who is helping Vedanta run a national “Create Happiness” Ad campaign (also doubling as a short film contest for young Indian film-makers).

[…] After so many socially responsible ad campaigns by you I was aghast to see Vedanta’s “Creating Happiness” Ad. Recently unveiling the campaign you said “The Vedanta ‘Creating Happiness’ campaign is extremely close to my heart for it’s all about enabling India. I have worked on this campaign along with my team as an excited young copywriter and I look forward to the people of India not just appreciating Vedanta’s efforts, but getting inspired to do something on their own to make India happier place.”

May I ask you, if you really know whether Vedanta has enabled or disabled India? Whether Vedanta has protected the environment of the tribals in India, or has been on land grabbing spree and attacking peaceful protestors? […]

Read the complete open letter here.

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