Save The Narmada, Save Humanity! NBA Press Release                                                                                 August 4, 2000

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Children In Narmada Valley To Celebrate Peace Day For Sane And Humane Development
Satyagraha Enters the Third Week

The children in the Narmada valley will be celebrating the International Peace Day at the Satyagraha site on August 6, 2000. It will be attended by the village representatives from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat villages, the resettlement sites in Gujarat and Maharashtra, along with the supporters from different parts of India.

The village children, now threatened with the submergence due to the controversial Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP), have been witnessing and participating in the struggle that is going on their villages against the dam. The Peace Day is meant for the absence of violence against human beings, Nature and a life of freedom, equality and harmony.

Among the prominent supporters to be present at this occasion in Jalsindhi (M.P.) and Domkhedi (Maharashtra), is Sir. Leo Rebello, a Senator Minister of the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, a United Nations body working in 140 countries on issues of Peace and Safety. He is also Vice Chancellor of Anstead University in the British Virgin Islands. Senior activist of National Fishworkers Forum Niki Cardazo, Prof. Naresh Dadhich, Pune, human rights activist Dr.Mirajkar, Bombay are also participating in this programme in the valley.

Following the Peace day celebrations, the people on Satyagraha will be observing the Martyrs Day (August 9), remembering the tribal martyrs and the New Freedom Day (Aug 15). The supporters from various parts of India would be observing the Narmada Solidarity week from that day.

The Satyagraha 2000, which was inaugurated by Ad. Ramdas on July 15th against the illegal submergence brought in by the Sardar Sarovar Dam, has entered the third week. During the past two weeks several programs were held at Jalsindi and Domkhedi, the Satyagraha centres in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra respectively. Prominent personalities, representatives of various people’s movements, students and other individuals have come from different parts of the country and abroad to declare solidarity with the ongoing struggle against big dams in general and Sardar Sarovar in particular, and for sustainable and egalitarian development.

Meanwhile, activists and academicians from various places all over the world have issued a statement in support of Satyagraha. After participating in the inauguration ceremony at Jalsindhi and Domkhedi on July 15, and the week-long Youth Camp they declared their support for this protest against injustice. Giving out the details of the project, displacement and cost-benefit, environment outrage by this project, these activists appealed to the International community, "We are all outraged at the way in which the Sardar Sarovar Dam project continues to devastate the communities and environment of the Narmada River Valley... We will not allow this project to continue uncontested in the international arena. We will continue to support the Narmada Bachao Andolan in their fight for Human Rights and Justice, just as we will contest large dam projects all over the world. It is our sincere hope that you also take this in your power to prevent further injustice in the Narmada Valley. With even a normal monsoon hundreds of houses and fields will submerge this monsoon. None of the people getting affected are shown land for rehabilitation, as the law prescribes. The people have no other way than to face the rising waters."

The signatories include Tom Greaves, Keith Hymas (UK), Ajay Gandhi, Ali Sauer, Tracey Brieger (Canada) and Aukje van Weert, Jasper Kencer (The Netherlands).

Joe Athialy