• Christoph Burgmer

Video: Adivasi in Rourkela today



In 1953, the Indian government began planning and building a steelplant in Rourkela in cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany. Hundreds of German companies were involved in the construction. It was the first and most important post-war project with which German industry could prove its newfound international competitiveness. It stands at the beginning of Germany's export success. The steelplant, which today employs 35,000 people, was built on Adivasi land. For this purpose, 16,000 Adivasis from 32 villages were resettled. They were supposed to receive compensation for their loss of land, but this never happened. Hundreds were deported to the jungle, many of them dying of disease and malnutrition. Others were locked up in ghettos. To this day, Germany refuses to acknowledge its co-responsibility for the deportations and refuses compensation payment.