Jun 26 2008

Monsoon Satyagraha in Narmada Valley

Narmada protestBegins on 11th July 2008 in Chimalkhedi, Nandurbar District, Maharashtra.

No doubt every monsoon brings along with it a new lease of life and a green glitter. But, however, it also brings in a threat and a challenge for people in the Narmada valley as in the other river valleys, where the rivers are dammed and damned and the people and the natural environs are doomed and drowned. Even after 24 years of struggle, the adivasis in the Satpudas and Vindhyas and the
farmers, fish workers and others in the Nimad region of Madhya Pradesh have had to continue to struggle for their rights. Their battle is also for the rightful share for dalits adivasis, farmers, fish workers and all those who toil with nature and their own labour, harnessing and developing the natural resources in the human society.

This year too, the first phase of the Satyagraha, on the bank of the Narmada river will commence in Chimakhedi, the third village from the Sardar Sarovar Dam site falling in the Nandurbar district of Maharashtra, with the best of its lands and generations-old habitats already gone under waters since 1994, the young and the old in Chimalkhedi have been in the battle field always, to get the land and abadi (residential sites)) needed even to start a new life. The people in the three states, who have staked their lives and livelihoods, have kept the dam at 122 mts and not allowed the State to bury the communities in a
watery-grave. They would come together in Chimalkhedi, with our supporters from all over, with a pledge for truth and determination to face the challenge of rising waters.

The truth that lies behind the facade of drum-beating related to the giant dam, stands exposed when the NBA has dug out massive corruption in rehabilitation, no compliance on legally mandatory environmental measures, the economic and financial non-viability. It has also brought out the skewed distribution of
benefits, which are not even attained, beyond 10% and are being diverted to the corporates, the urban elites, at the cost of the needy and the planned beneficiaries. The dam is not yet permitted to go beyond 122 mts, to its full height, when the space available for the struggle needs to be fully occupied,
through non-violent yet militant ways to compel the state to look back and look forward with the people and take to the just path. The Satyagrahis, would once again declare that they would not move out, come what may, unless, they get a better life and the promised land to live on and that they would not brook even an inch of construction beyond 122mts. The adivasis of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh and the farmers and others from Nimad in the plains would come together, to out forth their views and vision. Supporters from various people’s organizations, especially of the dam-affected and from different states and
cities would be with us on this day of inauguration and thereafter.

You are earnestly invited to express solidarity and join the struggle at this crucial point of time. We would be happy even if you make it for a day and return the same night from Baroda. We would be happier if you stay on the banks of the Narmada for at least two more days to have a glimpse of the various regions and get acquainted with the latest situation and the struggle.


Yours sincerely

Noorji Vasave, Ashish Mandloi, Kailash Awasya, Raman Bhai Tadvi,
Noorji Padvi, Kamla Yadav, Bawa Mahariya, Kapilaben,
Yogini, Chetan, Mohan Patidar, Gokhru Bhai, Champalal, Siyaram, Amarnath

Medha Patkar, Pervin Jehangir, Shyam Patil, Suniti S.R.

Travel related details

Please reach Badwani on the 10th or Baroda by 11th early morning. You can come
via Dhule, Khandwa, Badwani or Indore. Vehicles will start from Badwani in the
very early hours of 11th morning and Baroda by 7:30 a.m. on the 11th. Depending
on the number of persons coming via Dhule or Indore, vehicles may be arranged
from those two centers as well. Please bring with you, light baggage with rain
coats, torch, light shoes and light bed sheets, with medicines and eatables as
per need. We would, of course, be providing the transport including boat, food
and the minimum possible arrangements, in the difficult circumstances faced by
the people. Please let us know if you would stay back on the 11th night and
till when. While some will be helped to return to Baroda on the same night, the
others can return to Baroda, visiting the resettlement sites of Gujarat on the
12th or to Badwani or beyond (Indore or Dhule) on the 12th or 13th as per your
convenience. There will be no long walks involved, while a mix of private
(maximum) and some public transport in groups will have to be resorted to.

Contact for more details: nba.badwani@gmail.com

Badwani – Ashish Mandloi 07290-222464, 09424855042,
Umesh Patidar – 09424840771
Indore – Chinmay Mishra 09893278855,

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