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

An Honour For All People's Struggles - For People-Based, Sane Development

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Narmada Bachao Andolan congratulates our friend Rajendra Singh, his colleagues in Tarun Bharat Sangh and above all the villagers in the Rajasthan for the prestigious Magsaysay Award, which they fully deserve. The award is a recognition of the struggle for the sustainable, equitable and democratic development in Alwar and other parts of India.

The effort by the villagers in Alwar district with the participation of the Tarun Bharat Sangh to rejuvenate the johads ( small tanks), streams and rivers in the area are not only the appropriate technical solutions. It also involves the radical shift in the decision-making process, ownership, distribution and utilization of the natural resources. Rajendra Singh and his colleagues have facilitated the process of the community and village based decision making and ownership of the water and forest. The novelty lies in the due partnership and importance of the knowledge base and science in the villages and communities in conceiving, planning and executing the water management plans. The decentralization and demystification of science and knowledge is one of the important contribution of the efforts of Tarun Bharat Sangh.

The people in the Narmada valley, now on the Satyagraha against the unjust submergence and displacement, have been emphasizing the need of such water and land management policy and projects instead of the unsustainable and destructive large dams like the Sardar Sarovar Project. The Nav Nirman (regeneration) efforts in the valley have been inspired by similar values and practices. The Narmada Bachao Andolan and similar movements all over India look forward to the efforts of Rajendra Singh, Tarun Bharat Sangh and the villagers in Alwar and elsewhere as a continuation of the struggle of the people for the equitable, democratic and sustainable development. It is the duo of Sangharsh (struggle) and Nirman (regeneration), that will pave the way for a New Development.

We, the villagers and activists on Satyagraha and Narmada struggle are proud of the work of our friends of Tarun Bharat Sangh. While congratulating Rajendra Singh and colleagues for the honour bestowed on them we hope that their will be an inspiration for all such efforts and struggles in all parts of our nation.

Joe Athialy
Sanjay Sangvai