NBA Press Note

April 2, 2001

Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

62, M.G.Marg,
Badwani, Madhya Pradesh
Tel: 07290-22464
Fax: 07290-22120 (Attn: NBA)

Narmada Valley Gets Ready for the Parikrama
Not Just a Program, But Propagation of Narmada Vision: Begins from April 4th

Parikrama (circumambulance) is a great generations-old tradition followed by devotees. This was meant to be an opportunity to come out of their homes and environs into the bountiful valley, get mixed up with the various social communities to know the culture and nature.

Same is the motive behind the Narmada Sangharsh Parikrama, a program planned by the people of Vindhya-Satpuda mountain ranges and Nimad, the Sardar-Sarovar-Project-affected men, women and children would be on the streets, expressing their faith in life and protest against destruction beginning from April 4th. Thousands of people will hear the eminent supporters of the movement coming from different states and people's organisations. With Baba Amte, 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. "Why affected, we are the benefitted souls of Ma Narmada. She has fed us and reared us. It's the manmade demon 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 will continue to, with our resources human and natural. Supreme Court's injustice can't deter us. We vow to be with our land.

"Our vision is one of equitable and sustainable management of land and water, energy too. Forest, the father of the rivers, is still alive in the Narmada but it's being destroyed when the result is the vicious cycle of drought and flood. Who is responsible? The corrupt nexus of politicians-bureaucrats and contractors is known in cases -earthquake and 'Narmada' both. And the two are inter-related. The seismic risk in the Narmada-Son Lineament being triggered off, as per the scientists who have shown the fault zone in Kutch being linked to that in Narmada.

All this has made the work at the SSP-dam stop at 90 mts. The people are determined to fight the illegality and injustice in the dam and displacement. The wider context of inequity and other development issues of the worst ever impact of globalisation on the farmers and labourers, the rural populations, women..... gives the Narmada struggle an added role and responsibility. Parikrama is not just a program but propagation of the Narmada vision: struggle from village to WTO, for reconstruction, regeneration and revival of people's resources and people's sovereignty.

Asish Mandlai