You may remember about how the judgment given by Hon’ble Supreme Court on 8th February 2017 had first created panic and later the outcry in the Narmada Valley. Satyagraha, Fast and various form of struggles including imprisonment had disapproved the submergence of thousands of families on the basis of laws and the judgements of various including the apex court. The women of Narmada valley along with children, and youth were at the forefront again.
The Govt. of Madhya Pradesh had spent crores of rupees in the name of temporary rehabilitation which was not accepted by even a single family. The tin sheds, food camps, fodder camps lay vacant till date. At last the Govt. had to announce a 900 crores worth package. They also approved the rights of Fish workers, potters, boatsmen. Later on, thousands of families got house-plots and grants were distributed but still the rehabilitation is incomplete.
At the rehabilitation sites there is no permanent source of water yet but only the facility of tankers for drinking water and after 15 thousand families attaining it hundreds of eligible families are still left to get the land even through the package of 60 lakhs directed by the Supreme Court. Over a year, hundreds of adivasis, dalit, and others struggle and got the land for building houses…
Even today, around 35,000 families are living in the submergence area. The whole environmental condition of the Narmada river has deteriorated. The river is drying and the sea water has ingressed up to not less than 60 kms inside the estuary on the land, surface and ground water. And yet expropriation of Narmada water, its sand through the illegal mining and transportation to illegal markets outside the Narmada valley has been on through politician-mafia nexus, attacking the activists too. Having lost the sand that retains water and forests that refills the aquifers to rivers and reservoirs, the depletion of water sources has reached its peak. Moreover, huge pipelines as ‘links’ are being tendered to extract Narmada waters by corporate-politics through vested interests. The impingement upon, why grabbing of the farmlands of the Valley for industries-corporate to power projects is on the increase, claiming land and water both.
It was last year when hundreds of supporters and activists rushed to the valley and participated in our struggle as also took to supportive actions in different states for saving lakhs of people from drowning and eviction by massive police forces. Their voices were listened to, across the country and reverberated in the Narmada Valley. But today like many other rivers in the country, the present condition and the future of this river too is in danger. It’s what is being faced is not just a cycle of submergence and drought to follow, but the devastative impacts of Sardar Sarovar and cascade of big dams which is a fraudulent and formidable.
Supreme Court had declared the deadline of 31st July 2017 and ‘the Supreme Permission’ was granted to the State to use force, if needed to evacuate lakhs of people for leaving their generation old villages. But the people didn’t move, nor did the Narmada rise! Hundreds faced illegal submergence and eviction but the rest got saved. This year the reservoirs are empty till today.
But the movement is concerned about the future of Narmada. The serious questions encircle not just the most controversial Sardar Sarovar but all the dams, projects places to exploit the resources-land, water, as also habitats and forest, sand, socio-cultural environments of the most ancient civilization of Narmada.
From Amarkantak to the districts of Narsingpur, Jabalpur, Mandala, Khargone, there is an anger and agony felt everywhere, with a plea to save Narmada, that was raised 32 years ago from Manibeli to Harsud and later Bargi to every dam in the valley.
All those who listen to this plea and to the cry of the earth and all those who have been a witness to the struggle and successes too, are cordially invited to the Narmada Valley.
On the very date of July 31st or the death anniversary of injustice!
Do come to interact with, to listen the people of the Valley, to understand the scenario and to guide us on the future course of action.
You must be a witness to see the new emerging Rehabilitation Villages and the persisting old and new questions, both.
The detailed programme of ‘The call of Narmada’ are as follows –
- You will reach Barwani from Indore/Khandwa/Dhule or Baroda at 30thnight or in the early morning hours of 31st July visiting the Century workers’ struggle briefly on the way.
- You will join a rally, from one side of the river to another, joining not only the districts of Barwani and Dhar… but visiting the Valley and linking people with the river…followed by mass meeting at Chikhalda/Nisarpur.
- On the same day report of Justice Gowda’s and Abhay Thipsey’s judgement will be released.
- On the 1stday of August, till noon, we all will discuss and concerns regarding the ‘future of Narmada’.
- On the same day we will proceed in vehicles to the new rehabilitation site in Shahada tehsil (Nandurbar district) of Maharashtra, by late evening for a public gathering with performances by Jeevanshala children.
- Early morning on August 2ndwe will move towards world known Manibeli in a boat/barge from the dam site, to view the situation in the Satpudas mountain ranges, and rights of the adivasis at large.
- You can return from Baroda at late night on 2ndof August itself or from Indore/Khandwa the next day by returning back to Barwani.
With the greenery all over, people from Nimad to Pahad around you, we will surely try and make this programme. Your arrival after your support and our experience of last year is awaited with all earnestness.
Since decades and after ‘Narmada Jan Samvaad’ and ‘Narmada Bachao Kisani Bachao Jung’, the future of Narmada is not only connected to the Narmada movement but also to the future of the movements of our country. Adivasis, farmers, labourers, fishworkers and all those who struggle for survival and just development, facing repression, devastation, brutality as in Mandsaur, in Tuticorin, in Uttarakhand, let us strengthen these links.
Do plan to come and do confirm to us as soon as possible.
Awaiting a word of confirmation,
Rahul Yadav Ranveer Tomar Kamla Yadav Suresh Patidar Shyama Machhuara Latika Rajput Chetan Salve Punya Vasave Kailash Awasya Rulsingh Bhilala
In solidarity, Rajkumar Sinha Rajesh Tiwari Babulal Patel Ramesh Dwivedi Navratan Dube Rajkumar Dube Shyam Bhadane
Contact : Rahul Yadav – 9179617513 , Himshi – 9867348307