NBA Press Release
  18 August 2001
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Jeevan Yatra at Bhopal. Search for Life and Livelihood

B-13, Shivam Flats
Ellora Park,
Tel: 0265-282232

62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Tel: 07290-22464

Over 70 children, with activists and Gurujis have reached Bhopal on their way to meet the President of India and appeal him to save their life and livelihood and invite him to their villages. The children of Jeevanshalas (the life schools), run by Narmada Bachao Andolan in the Sardar Sarovar and Maan dams affected area in Narmada Valley, are on a march to Delhi.

The Yatra started on 16th from Kasaravad, where the Ashram of Baba Amte and the monsoon Satyagraha is going on against the rising waters of controversial Sardar Sarovar Dam. Before reaching Delhi on 21st evening, the Yatra will go through various cities, towns and villages in Madhya Pradesh and meet and involve in interaction with children form various schools, explaining their pathetic condition with threat to life and appeal for support against unjust displacement. Yesterday at Indore, the children exchanged views and appealed for support from students at Kasturbagram. Various programs are planned at Bhopal.

Meeting President

The Children will meet the President of India to appeal him to save them from destitution using his special power with regard to Scheduled Tribes granted by our Constitution under Schedule V. As the Head of the Republic, children of Jeevanshala are having great faith in President. It may be noted that NBA is running 11 Jeevanshalas in SSP affected area and almost all are affected at the present height of the dam, 90 mts. Recently released Daud Committee Report, set up by Maharashtra Government clearly states that the rehabilitation so far done, is nowhere neat satisfaction. There are thousands to be rehabilitated at the present height and the condition of the ones relocated so far is pathetic.

Apart form enlightening the President with the above facts, they are also planning to remind our President that India is one the accessory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of the United Nations, ratified by India on 11th December 1992. Along with other things, the CRC clearly says "No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation". Leave aside honour and reputation, the adivasi children of Narmada Valley are facing destruction and destitution.

Shobha Wagh
Giridhar Pavra