Narmada Jeevan Adhikar Yatra storms NCA Indore Office for justice

Sardar sarovar and jobat displaced storm NCA office to demand their rights
Indore citizens express full solidarity with Narmada Jeevan Adhikar Yatra
After two full days of non-stop action and travelling through various villages and towns creating awareness on the enormous social and environmental impacts of large dams in the Narmada Valley, the indefinite Jeevan Adhikar Yatra of the thousands of adivasis, farmers, fish workers affected by the Sardar Sarovar and Jobat Dams reached Indore today morning. At every village and in every meeting,
the people raised pressing issues concerning their fundamental right to life and livelihood and challenged the State, asserting that it cannot move ahead, even an inch, with these ‘monuments of mismanagement and injustice’ if it fails to ensure land and livelihood to the affected people. Read more

Slogans of “Narmada Ghati ka ek hee naara, nahi, chodenge narmada Kinaaraa” (The only slogan of Narmada Valley – We shall not leave the river bank) and “Vikas ke naam par Gaaon ka katl-e-aam band karo” (The State must stop massacre of villages in the garb of development) rent the air as the Yatra trucked through in 16 vehicles with blue buntings of the Andolan from Dhamnod to GPO, Indore where it received an encouraging welcome from the Indore Solidarity Group, a network of numerous citizens’ organizations, academics, intellectuals and professionals.

Addressing the large gathering at the GPO Ground, Dr. Bharat Chaparwal, Former Vice Chancellor of Devi Ahilya Vishwaya Vidyala, Indore, conveyed his full support to the people in their genuine struggle and assured that their non violent way to assert their rights will surely earn them more support from the civil society and the State will have to relent. Shri Kalyan Jain, Former Member of Parliament, Samajwadi Party expressing his full solidarity with the struggle said that there was never an iota of misgiving in his mind about the Andolan which has been raising very pertinent issues concerning people’s rights and the environment and it is in fact in the best interest of the State
that these issues are resolved at the earliest. Shri R.D. Prasad, senior academic said that the Sradar Sarovar Dam has been totally exposed today and the government’s own Reports such as the Devender Pandey Report on environmental non-compliance is highly damaging. The Government cannot go ahead with raising the dam height in this stage and if it still does, the people have no other alternative but to give an open challenge and get on to the streets and the common citizens will support them. No one can dare stop this.

Dr. Ranjana Sehgal and Dr. Mahesh Shukla , Professors at the Indore School of Social Work and the National Association of Professional Social Workers (Indore Chapter) who are actively supporting the people’s struggle along with their students said that the movement of the common masses is itself a university of learning and values for those in the academic circles. Shri Tapan Bhattacharya from the Association of Voluntary Agencies for Planning and Development also expressed his solidarity with the people. Dr. Arun Kumar, Lecturer of Political Science from Kerala and students from Madurai also joined the action today.

NBA storms NCA Indore Office: Demands Immediate Justice
Marching ahead, the Yatra resumed from GPO to Vijay Nagar, where the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) is head quartered, passing through the main streets of Indore and spreading its message to thousands of the city’s denizens. Not surprisingly, the gates at NCA were barricaded beforehand, displaying the defensive attitude of the State. However, the people asserted that they will have to be heard and made their way into the main verandah of the Office. Upon entering, the people were told that the senior officials were not present and briefly interacted with the Deputy Director, Mr. Ashish Fulandikar.

NBA expresses its dismay at the fact that the senior officials of the NCA i.e. the Directors of Rehabilitation and Environment could not make themselves available for a dialogue with the hundreds and hundreds of people who had come from the three states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, despite having been informed of the same well in advance. In any case, the people have
come prepared for an indefinite action and shall not budge without meeting up with the concerned authorities and seeking answers that shall determine their right to life.

Addressing the gathering of the fiery adivasis and farmers inside the NCA premises, Vimal Bhai of Matu Jan Sanghatan working with the Tehri and Bhagirathi dams displaced condemned the recalcitrant attitude of the State in forging ahead with giant projects on virtually every single river, thereby
killing the riverine communities and causing permanent damage to the ecology.

People in every single river valley are facing this challenge today to save their livelihoods and the valley and we shall together fight until our last breath, he said. Suniti S.R. from Visthapan Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, a coalition of people’s struggles against displacement in Pune congratulated
the Andolan for its unflinching faith in the peaceful way of struggle to achieve its natural and human rights despite heavy odds by the State and its inability to engage with social movements that are raising right (though uncomfortable) questions which is only towards facilitating positive alternative change.

The Andolan is thankful to senior freedom fighter Shambhunathiji who has been travelling with the Yatra for the past three days, Shri Anil Trivediji, senior advocate and activist for his guidance and support despite his ill-health, Pairindaji, Johar Chand Dasaneji, Kumar Siddharth, Samyak and Chinmay Mishraji from Sarvoday Press Service, the small railway caterers, including Jitubhai and
all saathis of Indore Solidarity Group and also who are actively supporting the people’s just cause in different ways.

Marking Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanthi tomorrow, the people will take an mass Sankalp at Ambedkar Pratima statue tomorrow at 11 in the morning re-affirming their vow to strive for their constitutional right to life.

The struggle from the valley has moved to Indore and will not go back without justice…

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Elites TV News, USA
Citizen News Service (CNS), India/Thailand