Satyagraha of Man dam affected people starts on 2nd July

Appeal for support

Dear friend,

This year, the adivasis and farmers of the Narmada valley will experience massive submergence in several places in the valley ranging from the Sardar Sarovar and the Narmada Sagar to the area affected by the Man Project in District Dhar in Madhya Pradesh. The Man Project is one of the 30 large dams being constructed in the Narmada valley. This dam will inundate the homes and lands of over 5000 adivasis in 17 villages in District Dhar in Western Madhya Pradesh. This year these thousands of adivasis and the lands they live on are slated for submergence without any arrangements for the restoration of livelihoods or provision of alternative agricultural land.

Since the last four years, the people affected by the Man Project have waged an intense battle for their rights with the support of the Narmada Bachao Andolan. It may be noted that their struggle compelled the Madhya Pradesh government to pass a government order stating that the rehabilitation of the affected people must precede submergence and that the affected people must be rehabilitated in the command area of the Project.

However, the Madhya Pradesh government did not rehabilitate any adivasi family by providing it with agricultural land. On the contrary, the Madhya Pradesh government began rapid work on the spillway section of the Man dam since November , 2000, thus increasing the dam wall. Since the past six months , we, the hundreds of Bhils and Bhilalas affected by this dam have moved in to a new and intense phase of struggle where we have been on the streets incessantly trying to stop the destruction that threatens to engulf us this monsoon. We have demonstrated in Dhar, Indore and Bhopal , captured the Man dam site and met officials at all levels. In fact in February this year, more than 200 adivasis had to stay in jail for around 15 days, because we had dared to ask for rehabilitation and our legal entitlements. This is a sad commentary on the state of our troubled democracy.

In the monsoon that is almost upon us, 5000 adivasis affected by the Man Project will have to face the rising waters of the Man reservoir which will inundate hundreds of houses and most of the lands of these 17 villages. We have decided that we will face this unjust and illegal submergence with courage and determination. We will fight the attempts of the government to flood us out like rats and will struggle for our right to resources for life as well as the right to live a life of dignity. We have decided to begin satyagraha in the first village to be affected by the Man dam - Khedi- Balwadi , District Dhar from the 2nd of July, 2001. You have always been part of the joys and sorrow s of the Narmada valley and in the struggles of its people. We call on you to be part of and strengthen this our life and death struggle by participating in the Satyagraha.

In solidarity,

Bondri Bai
Chander Singh
Gendalal Mandloi
Alok Agarwal
Jagadeesh
Chittaroopa Palit


Directions

To reach Village Khedi-Balwadi, supporters coming from Indore should take the bus the Manawar through Dhar and get off at the "Chuna Bhati naka" bus stop. In front will be Khedi village. Supporters coming from other directions may contact Badwani and Mandleshwar offices.

Badwani : Ashish, 62, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Badwani, M.P.
Phone : 07290-22464
E-mail : badwani@narmada.org

Mandleshwar : Suresh, NBA, Jail Road Mandleshwar, Dt. Khargone, M.P.
Phone : 07283-33162
E-mail : nobigdam@vsnl.com