Narmada protests now being heard in city
By Mignonne Dsouza
As the water level in the Narmada valley continued to rise last week, activists of the Narmada Bachao Andolan in the city were highlighting the incidents in the submergence area and the subsequent developments as Medha Patkar and other activists went on a fresh satyagraha.
According to Perveen Jehangir of the NBA, right from September 17 to 21, a number of activists and villagers participating in the satyagraha have been released, arrested and released again as the police have tried to break the satyagraha and move the satyagrahis from the zone of submergence. The activists were, however, determined not to be moved and continue living in their houses despite the flooding.
According to Jehangir, despite being arrested repeatedly, Patkar and others had continued the satyagraha, and at one point were standing in water seven inches below their nose which was rising at the rate of three inches per hour. At one point, the flood waters were so high that police had to break open the satyagraha hut to remove and arrest 275 satyagrahis who were grouped together at the back of the hut in neck-deep water. A number of villagers from various areas in the Narmada valley region constantly visited the area of submergence to show solidarity for the satyagraha, stated Jehangir.
She added that news about the satyagraha was relayed to them at irregular intervals by activists who were able to reach a phone and get through to either Mumbai or Baroda. The last call stated that the flood waters were receding, said Jehangir, but she added that this flooding would now be a annual feature and that the activists were determined to continue their agitation. The activists are protesting the increase in the height of the Sardar Sarovar Project by five metres and the consequent submergence and forcible displacement.
Technical festival to be held in October
Vedic mathematics, astrophotography, unresolved mysteries of science, technical crosswords to boggle your mind. If you are a "techie," then this is just for you. K J Somaiya College of Engineering has announced `Abhiyantriki 99', the six-day annual technical festival, to be held during October 4-9.
The festival will open with a power-packed seminar on Vedic mathematics and speed calculations and a poignant talk on the definition and essence of a techie. The festival will also have a technical paper presentation contest on Cosmos '99. Other events include a workshop on web programming and Java, a seminar on e-commerce and a contest on web designing. Apart from computer-focused events like a workshop on networking, and hardware designing contest, the festival also features talks on the science of astrophotography, and unconquered realms of science and cosmology.
The eminent speakers participating in the festival will include Tata Institute of Fundamental Research professor Sridharan, Gautam Ram of Rediff on the net and the man who owns a fleet of seductively designed cars, Dilip Chhabria of DC Design. Other interesting events during the fest will be `Aero Tek', a seminar cum demonstration of radio-controlled model planes, and `Designer no. 1' where a automobile design competition will be organised.
Informal events include technical crosswords, technical essay competitions, online quizzes and the works. Students will have a gamer zone and a cyber cafe to loaf around. For more information contact Pramoth on 569-1469 or Kokil on 6323998. Those interested can also visit www.somaiya.zzn.com.