Friends of River Narmada

Who are we?

First, we want to make it clear that we are NOT the Narmada Bachao Andolan
. The struggle against the construction of mega-dams on the River Narmada in India is symbolic of a global struggle for social and environmental justice. The Friends of River Narmada is an international coalition of individuals and organizations (primarily of Indian descent). In particular, we are a support and solidarity network for the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save the Narmada movement) which has been fighting for the democratic rights of the citizens of the Narmada Valley. The Friends of River Narmada is entirely volunteer-based. The Friends of River Narmada holds :
  • that the Narmada Valley Development Project (NVDP) has been conceived without adequate participation from the people who are going to be affected;
  • that many dams of the NVDP are not viable solutions to many of the problems (power, drinking water, flood control, irrigation) they set out to solve, and that there needs to be a greater emphasis on the search for alternative solutions from all concerned (Government, NGOs, people);
  • that the construction and planning of many dams of the NVDP has disrupted (and will potentially disrupt) the lives of millions of people without just and adequate compensation;
  • that the people of the Narmada Valley are waging a just and legitimate struggle to assert their right to life, livelihood, and participation in their own development;
  • that while the country can ask for sacrifices from its people, such people must be justly and adequately compensated for the sacrifices that they are thus making;
  • that while the country can ask for sacrifices from the people of the Valley for the greater cause of national progress, the burden of sacrifice should be distributed across the nation, and not be restricted to a specific group of people;
  • that the NVDP is merely an example of a much bigger problem that is manifesting itself across the country: the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, the Enron controversy in the Dabhol Power Project in Maharashtra, the controversy over the Cogentrix project, the forgery of Environmental Clearances by Ernst & Young; the controversy over the construction of the Bangalore-Mysore highway, the human rights abuses over the port construction at Maroli, and the list goes on.
  • that the struggle in the Narmada Valley consequently throws up much deeper issues about the developmental choices being followed in India and elsewhere, and that there needs to be a much wider debate of these choices;
  • that the Narmada Bachao Andolan is a symbol of hope for people's movements all over the world that are fighting for just, equitable, and participatory development.

Aims and Objectives

As a coalition committed to the above principles, we are primarily focussed in supporting the struggle of the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Our work can be broadly classified as involving:

Expressing solidarity with the movement by:

  • Research on issues raised by the movement
  • Educating the public and making our voice heard through public action and rallies of solidarity
  • Petitions

Recording and documenting the struggle:

  • To serve as a repository of information related to dam projects on the Narmada from the point of view of lay person and researchers.
  • To chronicle the history of the resistance movement against the dams through press release, images, interviews, film, books, reports, and other media.
  • By organizing art performances such as skits, plays, and dance dramas
  • To record art including creative writing, poetry, painting, and songs.

Public outreach and education:

While the website itself serves as a tool for public outreach and education, we have also organized visits by Medha Patkar and Shripad Dharmadhikary of the Narmada Bachao Andolan and organized discussions, teach-ins and screenings of video documentaries on the Narmada issue. This is an ongoing effort and all help in this matter is much appreciated.

Narmada Solidarity Network

  • Narmada Solidarity Coalition of New York
  • Bay Area chapter of Association for India's Develoment (AID)
  • Boston chapter of Association for India's Develoment (AID)
  • State College chapter of Association for India's Develoment (AID)
  • Maryland chapter of Association for India's Develoment (AID)
  • International Rivers Network

Contact Info

  • This website was started by Venu Govindu of Friends of River Narmada. This website is currently maintained by Pradyumna Singh and Manoj Saranathan, with assistance from many volunteers of Friends of River Narmada. For website related queries, please contact Pradyumna Singh (pradyuATnarmadaDORorg) or Manoj Saranathan (manojATnarmadaDOTorg).

  • For queries related to the Narmada issue, you can contact one of the following persons in different cities.

    City Name Phone Email
    Berkeley, California, USA Patrick McCully 510-848-1155 patrickATirnDOTorg
    Rockville, Maryland, USA Kiran Kumar Vissa (240)485-8404 kiranvissaATgmailDOTcom
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada Pablo Shiladitya Bose 416-650-2296 pboseATyorkuDOTca
    Delft, The Netherlands Pradyumna Singh +31-619960807 pradyuATnarmadaDOTorg

    Please note, we are not the NBA. If you want an official opinion/response from the NBA please contact them directly.

  • The NBA's contact information is given below:
    Office Email Phone/Fax Mailing Address
    Badwani, Madhya Pradesh nba.badwaniATgmailDOTcom 07290-291464, 291938
    Fax: 07290-222549
    Off Kasravad Road,
    Madhya Pradesh - 451551.
    Mandleshwar, Madhya Pradesh nobigdamATsancharnetDOTin 91-7283-233162, 9425056802, 9425087827 Jail Road, Mandleshwar
    District Khargone, Madhya Pradesh
    Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh nobigdamATsancharnetDOTin 0733-2228418, 9425394606, 9425928007 2, Sai Nagar, Mata Chowk
    Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh

  • International Rivers Network

    Patrick McCully
    Phone: 510-848-1155