Widespread support to Narmada strengthens people's resolve

Supporters from Pune demand justice to Narmada ‘andolankaris’ as struggle enters 13th day in Indore
As the indefinite and resolute dharna of the kisan and adivasis of the Narmada Ghati entered its 13th day today, representatives of people’s organizations from Pune extended their full solidarity to the lawful assertion of the thousands of people from the valley that the Sardar Sarovar Dam should not be pushed ahead when the rehabilitation is far from complete and further environmental damage is imminent if the conditions are not complied with. They agreed with the people that the Narmada Control Authority, which is an inter-state statutory and monitoring body must fully use its teeth to direct the state governments to fully comply with the law and policy and provide land to the people. Read more

“Why is the State thick-skinned and non-responsive when it comes to giving the adivasis and farmers their due share of land, even after a 100 dharnas, whereas it acquires large tracts of agricultural land to give away to SEZs and corporates on a ‘single-window clearance’ basis”, questioned Manav Kamble, prominent social activist of Visthapan Virodhi Sangharsh Samithi (Pimpri Chinchwad) and Maruti Bhapkar (Nagari Hakk Suraksha Samiti).

Later in the evening, the Indore Solidarity Group held its special meeting at the dharnasthal today in which senior activists and other concerned citizens including Shri D.K. Arun, noted environmentalist, Alok Khare, Shri Tapan Bhattacharya, social activists, Comrade Vineet Tiwari, Pramod Bagde and many other saathis participated and resolved to stand by the struggle and also garner more support for the movement from the city. In addition to the hundreds of people who are staying put at the dharna site, there are also many people from the villages of Nimad who are regularly visiting the dharna and actively participating. The canal-affected farmers and fishermen from the valley came in good number today.

The people’s Andolan has been receiving letters and messages of solidarity and support from various quarters. Father Thomas Kocherry, World Forum of Fisher people, Shri Amit Badhuri, noted economist, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Madhu Ramaswamy, well-known journalist, Sagari Chhabra, prominent film-maker, M.P. Mathai from Kerala, Ravi Thakur, Haimalayan Buddhist Society Jispa Lahoul Spiti, Dr. Meher Engineer, President, Indian Social Science Congress, Sergio Scapagnini, prominent Italian film-maker, Ashok Jain President, Damodar Valley Engineer’s Association, Siddhartha Khan, Kolkatta State Bank Employees Union and many others who have stated that the voice of the valley is the voice of the struggling masses and nature-based communities of the world and it is in the interests of long-term democracy and peace that the State respects and responds to people’s legitimate demands.

An interactive and informative session on the National Employment Guarantee Act was held at the Dharna site today by Kailash Awasya, Siyaram Padvi and and Kamleshbhai from Nagda.

As the ‘Chula’ is all set to burn today evening, the fire in the adivasis bellies and hearts is also burning, who are determined not to rest without their share of land.

The relay fast entered its 4th day with the fasters raising slogans that this is a do or die battle for the people of the valley and the struggle shall continue until the just demands of the people are met: Those on fast today were:

Sl. No.         Name                          Village
1.              Gangaram Solanki         Bhadal
2.              Narlia Solanki               Bhadal
3.              Ratan Solanki               Sugat
4.              Delabai Sasthiya           Sugat
5.              Sidabai Sasthiya           Sugat
6.              Kathibai                       Sugat
7.              Sunil Badole                Machaliya
8.              Khema Vestha             Jobat
9.              Thunya Vastha            Chimalkhedi
10.             Dadla Solanki             Bhadal
11.             Jadla Pawra                Cholvad
12.             Gangesh                     NBA and NAPM
13.             Vijaya Pawar              Indore Solidarity Group