On Monday, July 26, a team of locals peddle-started their cycle tour from Chhatarpur to Buxwaha to raise awareness amongst villages on the save Buxwaha movement.

According to Peoples Samachar, a local MP newspaper, the cycle tour, over a period of five days, will cover several villages en route and organize 'nukkad sabha' (street corner assembly) to raise awareness about the significance of forests and why Buxwaha treesshould not be felled to make way for diamond mining.

Save Buxwaha Campaign moved online in May due to the pandemic
Save Buxwaha Campaign moved online in May due to the pandemicSocial Media

The proposed diamond mining project on 364 hectares of land in the Buxwaha forest region in Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh may witness the felling of as many as 2.15 lakh trees.

NGO appeals to MP Governor to intervene

On July 23, a local environmental society, Vasundhara Environment and Cultural Society handed over a memorandum to MP Governor Manghubhai Patel seeking his intervention to save the forests of Buxwaha. According to agency reports, in the memorandum, the organization has alleged that efforts to destroy the forests have begun in a planned manner, which will ruin the natural resources, lives of tribal and living beings.

Buxwaha, a treasure trove of ancient history

Earlier this month, between July 10-12, a team of Jabalpur circle of the Archaeological Survey of India headed by Dr. Sujeet Nayan surveyed the Buxwaha forest region and discovered three stone-age rock paintings and Kalchuri era statues including those of Hindu idols.

The survey was ordered by the National Green Tribunal and the Madhya Pradesh High Court on the request of environmental activist Dr. P G Najpande, who had earlier filed a petition at the Green Tribunal against the felling of trees at Buxwaha. The ASI findings submitted to the court suggest that these paintings and sculptures may be 25000-30000 years old.

Ganesh idol found by the ASI team in Buxwaha region
Ganesh idol found by the ASI team in Buxwaha regionSocial Media

According to a News18 report, Dr. Najpande has stated that the ASI report has vindicated that the Buxwaha forest has many pre-historic treasures, which are to be preserved and will help us understand the cultural connect of human evolution journey.

One of the stone age rock paintings found near Buxwaha
One of the stone age rock paintings found near BuxwahaSocial media

For the last few months, while Buxwaha made headlines across the media for its rich diamond pockets and felling of a major part of the region to make way for Essel's Bunder mining project, this new development may re-announce Buxwaha as a historical site.

Madhya Pradesh is also home to Bhimbetka rock shelters in the Raisen district, 45 km from Bhopal. The archaeological site is known for rock paintings discovered from the prehistoric Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods, as well as the historic period. Bhimbetka site exhibits the earliest traces of human life in India and evidence of the Stone Age starting at the site in Acheulian time.