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The Hindu on indiaserver.com : People to join `Narmada Sangharsh Parikrama'

Online edition of India's National Newspaper on indiaserver.com
Wednesday, April 04, 2001


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People to join `Narmada Sangharsh Parikrama'

By Our Staff Correspondent

BHOPAL, APR. 3. The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) has announced that the people of the Vindhya-Satpuda mountain ranges, Nimad region and those affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project would be on the streets from tomorrow to join the Narmada Sangharsh Parikrama expressing their faith in life and protesting against construction of big dams on the Narmada.

Parikrama (circumambulance) is an old tradition followed by the devotees of the Narmada. It provides an opportunity to the people living on the banks of the Narmada to come out of their homes and mix up with various communities and to know the different facets of their culture.

NBA has said in a statement that thousands will participate in the Parikrama and hear people's organisations and eminent supporters of the Narmada movement who would be coming from different parts of the country to join this event. With Baba Amte, Ms. Medha Patkar and others, they will be strengthening the vow of the valley, especially when the waters can rise in the coming monsoon to engulf thousands of fields and homes, the NBA said.

In its message the NBA has said: ``Why describe people as affected, when they are the benefited souls of Mother Narmada. She has fed us and reared us. It's the manmade demon of the dam and its disastrous impact that is killing us. We don't accept the imposed intimidation or annihilation of our culture. We live and continue to live with our resources - human and natural. The Supreme Court's injustice can't deter us. We vow to be with our land.''

The NBA has further said that their vision is one of equitable and sustainable management of land and water as well as energy. ``Forest, the father of the rivers, is still alive in the Narmada valley but it is now being destroyed and as a consequence we are confronted with the vicious cycle of drought and flood.''

The wider context of inequity and other development related issues besides the impact of globalization on the lives of farmers, labourers, the rural population, and women gives the Narmada struggle an added role and responsibility, the NBA said adding that the Parikrama is not just a programme but propagation of the Narmada vision, that is ``struggle from village to WTO, for reconstruction, regeneration and revival of people's resources and sovereignty.''

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