NBA Press Release
  28 December 2009
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Narmada Ghati respectfully remembers Baba Amte and Sanjay Sangvai

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Madhya Pradesh - 451551
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Narmada Ghati respectfully remembers Baba Amte and Sanjay Sangvai ‘Sathi tere sapnon ko, manzil tak pahunchaayenge’

Representatives of farmers, adivasis, fish workers and potters along with the activists came together at village Kasravad in District Badwani to remember and pay salutes to the visionary life and struggle of Baba Amte on the occasion of his birth anniversary who spent more than a decade of the last phase of his mortal life fiercely defending the rights of the nature-based communities threatened of displacement on the banks of Narmada and espousing non-destructive development alternatives.

The gathering of the displaced assembled at ‘Nijbal’, the ashram on the river bank built by the people of the valley for Baba, where the most renowned persons from India and world over had called upon Baba during his stay from March 1991 to September 2001. Rehmat reminded those present how Nijbal had become a symbol of common people’s resistance to large destructive projects such as Sardar Sarovar and propagated non-displacing people-centric decentralized development as the real alternative.

The meet began with flower garlanding of Baba’s and Sanjaybhai’s photographs by villagers Kailash Yadav, Mangilal Dhangar, Pratapsingh Tomar, Lakshmibehan and Surbhanbhai Bhilala. Sanjay Sangvai, who made the pen his gun until the last breath of his life; re-introduced the Andolan to the nation and the world through his continues activist writings from the valley with an in-depth understanding of local to global developments.

Bhagwan Patidar of village Chota Barda remembering Baba at the peak of state repression during the Ferkua sangharsh narrated how Baba remained undaunted and stood by the people as a resolute defender of people’s rights. Bhagirath Dhangar of Chikalda expressed his gratitude by thanking Baba, Medhabehan and Sanjaybhai, but for whom thousands like him would have never understood the value of ‘real-life education and societal awareness’. Others including Devender Singh Tomar (village Piplaj), Jagannath Patidar (village Kundia) and Shanta bahan (village Pipri) also shared their unforgettable memories of Baba during the different stages of the struggle.

Medha Patkar stressed on the all-encompassing vision of Baba and Sanjaybhai and felt that, more than ever before, Baba must be remembered today as there is need for struggles across the country to come together to assert the centrality of people in the development process in a democracy. While asserting our rights, we must move beyond our issues and areas and remember that ours is a struggle for values, she said.

Ashish Mandloi Bhagirath Kavche