Satyagraha in the Narmada Valley




Announcement of Narmada Satyagraha 2001
Against Inhuman, Unjust Submergence; For Justice And Development

Dear Friends,

Another submergence has been imposed on the Narmada valley in the monsoon of 2001. This time, it is the most illegal, inhuman and fatal submergence with the endorsement and encouragement from the Supreme Court of India. The construction upto 93 meters (with humps) on the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) would destroy the homes, farms, life and natural resources of anywhere upto 5000 tribal families from the villages of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. It may, depending on the rainfall, almost wipe out the tribal belt in the SSP affected zone in the Narmada valley. This time the submergence would extend upto the fertile plains of Nimad, in M.P.

Like the killings of Adivasis in recent months in Dewas, Koel-Karo and Kashipur, the submergence in the Narmada valley is one of the worst homicide of tribals in India.

The government has imposed the submergence and displacement by raising the height of the dam upto 90 meters plus 3 meters of humps. This was done with fraudulent means and bypassing the decision of the Rehabilitation and Environment sub-groups of Narmada Control Authority (NCA) violating the Supreme Court verdict itself. All the basic issues regarding the dam like the cost-benefit and displacement-resettlement, environmental, aspects have remained unanswered and the people have been refusing to leave their villages. Even the 10% of the reservoir-affected 43700 families have not been properly resettled and there is no Master Plan of the total displacement and resettlement. It is now clear that the waters from SSP are not meant for the drought-affected Kutch and Saurashtra as against the original plan, Ahmedabad and Baroda cities have received waters lifted from the reservoir and put into the canal, even after spending Rs. 45000 crores (450 billion) of the nation and 90% of the Gujarat's irrigation budget - on one single project. Similar to Enron, the projects like the SSP are the social and economic liability for the nation. Yet, the power-holders continue with their pernicious 'politics of inevitability', making the dam inevitable and irreversible to suppress the basic issues and the people who are raising them. The role of the Supreme Court of India in this respect has been most sinister, as it has taken away all the legal and constitutional protections for the tribals and peasants and had given a license for the government to suppress the rights of the people.

It is in the national interest to stop the work on the dam and review it in all the aspects. This is the test of the rule of law, Constitution, democracy and human rights in our country.

The fact remains the same for all the completed and ongoing projects in the Narmada valley like Bargi, Narmada Sagar, Maheshwar and Man. However, the government is bent on destroying the Adivasis-peasants and their organization for the sake of corporate interests. The tendency has increased with the onslaught of the liberalization, globalization, and privatization. As the powerholders intend to annihilate not just the tribals in the Narmada valley, but all the toiling people whose resources are the capital for the market economy and urban lifestyle. It is the flawed water policy, centralised management of natural resources and globalised economy that is to be challenged in solidarity with all farmers, fishworkers, dalits, adivasis, workers, oppressed, women and all patriotic citizens. It is the decentalised, employment-generating economic policies that need to be supported.

The new phase of the struggle the Satyagraha non-violent resistance will be launched against the dam and inhuman displacement and unjust development here and all over, from July 5, 2001 at Jalsindhi (Madhya Pradesh) and Domkhedi (Maharashtra). In Nimad (Madhya Pradesh), Satyagraha will start at Chhoti Kasaravad (near Badwani), on July 9 near the residence of Baba Amte. Baba has taken a pledge to be one of the Satyagrahis, himself. At both places the people will be staying put in their homes and face the rising waters that may engulf land, houses.... everything alive. Satyagrahis will stake their lives and assert people's right to life and resources.

From July 10 to 12, senior social activists, prominent people in India would be holding a protest and solidarity fast in Kasaravad. Simultaneously, there will be solidarity actions at different places in India. You must come for the Satyagraha at this juncture, or participate at the respective places in these actions. The Establishment is bent upon crushing the struggles of the depressed classes and for them suppressing the Narmada struggle is important as one more blow to people's movements. This cannot be allowed and we will have to resist the repression, injustice, inequality and unsustainable policies and paradigms.

Be a Satyagrahi. Support the people's endeavour to resist the oppression and fraud on their life. The villagers in the Narmada valley and the supporters from all over India call unto you to participate in this joint struggle of us all to protect the rights, resources of the people and for humane development.



Noorji Padvi, Bawa Mahariya, Dedlibai Vasave, Balibehn Tadvi, Mohan Patidar, Ashish Mandloi, Medha Patkar, and all activists of the valley


Appeal

  • Come to the Valley, at Domkhedi, Jalsindhi and Chhoti Kasaravad
  • Organize Solidarity actions.... spread the message
  • Come as activists/volunteers during the Satyagraha and also beyond, as a part of the struggle
  • Contribute financially for the Andolan - as the NBA has been based on the small contributions from the valley and the people all over India. It is our struggle



Directions to get to the Satyagraha

To reach the Satyagraha place, you can go via Baroda (Gujarat), or Badwani (Madhya Pradesh) and contact the NBA offices there, or you may go directly to the Satyagraha site from these places. Addresses of the NBA offices are given at the bottom of this page.

To Baroda NBA Office: From the Railway station catch an auto to Ellora Park. Once in Ellora Park, two landmarks are Kalpataru shopping complex and Raj Castle. These are on both sides of the road, though not diametrically opposite. Turn right from the Kalpataru and turn again towards the first right - the lane which goes by the side of Raj Castle (to confirm, on the left, at the beginning of the road, you will find Sainath Xerox) Straight down the road you will find the New Shivam Flats first and the next building, Shivam Flats is where we stay. We are on the first floor.

From Baroda to Domkhedi/Jalsindhi: For those of you who prefer to go straight from the bus stand / railway station, you need to catch the bus towards Kadipani or Kavat (or can go to Chotta Udaipur - Kavat - Kadipani). Kadipani is 11 kms from Kavat. At Kadipani, an NBA jeep will be available from 10 am - 1 pm. Kadipani to Hapeshwar, the last point to reach by road, distance of 7 kms will be through the NBA jeep. Hapeshwar to Domkhedi/Jalsindhi is another half-an-hour journey by boat. NBA boats will be available for that stretch. Baroda to Kadipani is 4 hours, Kadipani to Hapeshwar is 30 minutes (because the road is bad) and Hapeshwar to Domkhedi/Jalsindhi is half-an-hour by boat.

From Baroda to Kasaravad: For Kasaravad, you need to catch a bus to Badwani, and Kasaravad is only 7 kms from Badwani. Baroda to Badwani buses are available at 9 am, 10 am and 1.15 pm. Or you can catch the 5 am Ujjain bus, get down at Alirajpur and change for Badwani. Baroda to Badwani is 5 hours and 30 minutes.

To Badwani NBA Office: Badwani is accessible by road from Indore, Khandwa, Dhule and Baroda (all 4-4.5 hours journey by bus). Once at Badwani, ask for the shop of Kalu Lohar. The NBA office is opposite to his shop.

From Badwani to Domkhedi/Jalsindhi: For Badwani to Kavat, you need to go the Chotta Udaipur, or Alirajpur to change for Kavat. Rest of the directions are exactly as mentioned earlier. Badwani to Kavat takes about 4 hours.

From Badwani to Kasaravad: To reach Kasaravad from Badwani, regular public transport is available at Badwani bus stand.

From Dhadgaon to Domkhedi/Jalsindhi: Dhadgaon is accessible from Dhule. Catch a bus to Shahada and from there to Dhadgaon (altogether from Dhule, Dhadgaon will take around 4 hours. At Dhadgaon, you can meet Dr.Sali (Tel.02595-20227). From Dhadgaon you will get jeeps to Roshmal. Roshmal to Domkhedi is a walk of 4 hours. Or if you inform the NBA well in advance, they can send a boat to Bhilgaon and for Domkhedi to Bhilgaon, you will get jeeps.

The most convenient way will be to get in touch with the NBA Baroda or Badwani offices, either by letter, phone or email and they will help you. The detailed directions are for you to get an idea about the route and to use, incase for any reason, you fail to get in touch with the offices.

As it would be rainy season, come with the required protection - strong shoes/chappals, rain coats/umbrella, and lighter baggage. If needed, bring mosquito repellents and with some necessary medicines, torch etc.


Satyagraha Poster
Low resolution (60KB) JPEG image High resolution (190KB) JPEG image PDF file (180KB)
Satyagraha Programme
July 5, 2001 Satyagraha Launch in Domkhedi (Maharashtra), Jalsindhi (Madhya Pradesh)
July 9, 2001 Satyagraha Launch in Chhoti Kasaravad, near Baba Amte's residence (M.P.)
July 10-12, 2001 Fast by prominent people in Kasaravad and fast/mass actions outside the valley
NBA Contact Info
Address Sukumar,
B-13, Shivam Flats,
Ellora Park,
Baroda, Gujarat-390007
Phone (91)-265-282232;
Email baroda@narmada.org
Address Dr. Sugan Baranth/Ashish,
62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Badwani,
Madhya Pradesh 451551
Phone (91)-7290-22464
Email badwani@narmada.org;