NBA Press Release
  26 December 2002
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Invitation for Inauguration of Second Micro Hydel Project in Narmada Valley, January 14th 2003

62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Badwani,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Tel: 07290-22464
Email: badwani@narmada.org

Dear friends,

The struggle by the people affected by Sardar Sarovar Project always pledged not only to save the land, water, forest, living human communities in the Narmada Valley but to regenerate, manage and harness their human and natural resources, why life itself. Sangharsh and Nirman (Struggle and Reconstruction) have always been the two plants of the 17 years long movement carried onward by adivasis in the Satpuda and Vindhya ranges as also the farmers of Nimad (M.P.).

Known for its fight from the village to the World Bank, Andolan peacefully and silently continued its work on Jeevanshalas Life Schools- for the first learner generation of adivasis, saving forest, prohibition, land rights, interventions on right to food, health and natural resources and other reconstruction work.

The latest and the most glimmering achievement of the people in the Valley is the MICRO HYDEL PROJECT in Bilgaon, (second following a much smaller 300 watts project in Domkhedi), on the river Udhai, a tributary of Narmada. The 15 KW project built with Shramdaan by the adivasi youths and elders under the guidance and with the brilliant, sincere inputs by the committed engineers Madhu and Anil, from People's School of Energy, Kerala,is a symbol of alternative development paradigm respecting people's right to resources and sustainable, just ways of managing those.

It will light the houses of all the households spread over 12 hamlets of Bilgaon, an ashram school in Bilgaon and soon provide for drinking water and some irrigation and income generation activities. A Navnirman Kendra is also erected at Bilgaon with an exhibition on Narmada Struggle and Alternatives in Water and Power and what more needs to be done.

Indeed Bilgaon lies in the adivasi belt in Maharshtra where 33 villages are being displaced by the SSP dam but there is no promise of electricity to the tribal people of the Satpuda range of the Narmada valley where many villages are still dark even after independence.

  • Inauguration of this people's power project is to take place on January 14th, at 1 PM, at Bilgaon, tahsil Dhadgaon, Nandurbar District.
  • The Chief Guest will be Shri R.R. Patil, Rural Development Minister, Maharshtra. Noted Marathi publisher and writer Ramdas Bhatkal will be special guest on this occassion.

We would be most delighted and encouraged if you could grace the occasion with your presence.

To reach Bilgaon:

  • Contact Pervin Jehangir at 022 22184779, 22185832 and join the group coming from Mumbai leaving on 13th evening.
  • By train, take the Dadar- Amritsar Express on 13th night to Dhule. There are also several Mumbai-Dhule/Shahada buses.
  • Reach our Badwani office on the 13th, giving us prior information, or
  • Catch a bus from Indore (8 hours) / Dhule (2 hours) / Baroda (7 hours) to Shahada. From Shahada buses leave for Dhadgaon at 7, 8, 9 a.m. and till 5 p.m. From Dhadgaon to Bilgaon it is a 1 hour journey by bus/private jeeps.

Sukhlal, Natwar, Jayanti, Bilgaon Navnirman Samitee
Medha Patkar, S. Pravin, Narmada Bachao Andolan
Daniel, Ravi & Aravinda, Mumbai Sarvodaya Friendship Centre