NBA Press Release
  15 June 2002
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Narmada Satyagraha 2002:
A Call to the Conscience of the Nation.

NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
B-13, Shivam Flats
Ellora Park,
Baroda-390007
Tel: 0265-282232
Email: baroda@narmada.org

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

Dear Friends,

The 17 years long struggle in the Narmada valley has now reached it's peak. And what lies ahead is an unprecedented challenge. It has been established that the height of the demonic Dam "Sardar Sarovar" will be raised to 95 mts + 3 mts humps before this monsoon which will affect more than 60 villages of Madhya Pradesh, 33 villages of Maharashtra and hundreds of families in Gujarat. More than 8000 families face the danger of submergence in this year's monsoon.

It is a State sponsored 'massacre by water', as it is bent upon drowning the adivasi and farmers, there is no idea of the exact number of the endangered people and without any possibility of their just resettlement with alternate land. This will be the man-made flooding and submergence of the people. The extent of such a disaster will depend the on the rainfall this monsoon.

The struggling Adivasi families, their Jeevanshalas, forests which have been saved with relentless efforts- how all this can be saved, when the surging waters of Narmada will rise and enter the well settled Adivasi villages in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh- from Manibeli to Bhadal, and from Jalsindhi to Kakrana.

Also slated for submergence are well populated villages with fertile agricultural land in Nimad; houses, shops and markets; ghats and temples, mosques and Jain temples which could not even be identified yet for 'relocation'. We can here the marching steps of hundreds of armed Policepersons in the villages and this and it is certain that the people have to face the state-sponsored violence. And how much time is left for that too!

As a precursor to this violence on the people, thousands of old and full-bloomed trees have already been clear felled and set on fire, in the Adivasi villages of Madhya Pradesh like Jalsindhi, Bada Amba, Kharya B . Official vehicles are making rounds of villages like Chikhalda and Nisarpur with an expedite aim of terrorizing people, threatening people to move on point of guns and with threats of bulldozing their houses.

And the Supreme Court has also deferred the stay on patently illegal construction of Sardar Sarovar dam, which is being pushed, with gross violation of human rights. In such a situation, the only resort available for non-violent people is to prepare themselves for Do or Die struggle, to realize the objective of a just, equitable and sustainable development.

It will be a struggle against illegal submergence in the face of rising waters; the struggle against state repression, against destructive development unleashed by Big Dams in Narmada valley, from Bargi, Tawa, Man, Maheshwar to Sardar Sarovar. It will be also a struggle against the terror inflicted throughout our country by unjust displacement, dispossession and destitution and the struggle against anti-people water policy having it's genesis in the Globalization and centralized development planning. People will struggle for reassertion of people's rights over water, land and forests; struggle for equitable use of resources by right technique striking out inequalities and destruction.

To effectively counter the valueless, fascist politics that has played fraud with the lives of lakhs of displaced, dispossessed people. We have decided to undertake some major steps during this monsoon -

  • From 20th June: Jeevan Sankalp Yatra (March with a resolve to life) in Nimad villages of Madhya Pradesh. Carry out solidarity programs in your places to remind governments of our strength, our thinking.
  • On 30th June: Beginning of Satyagraha against 'Massacre by Water' in Jalsindhi and Domkhedi.
  • 30th June onwards: Throughout the monsoon, individuals and groups joining Satyagraha to face 'illegal submergence' and rising waters.
  • We call forth all sensitive, thoughtful individuals and citizens' groups to stand by the people in the Narmada valley.
  • Join Jeevan Sankalp Yatra from 20th June in Nimad villages, in Bhopal from 24th June. Reach Badwani/Baroda on 29th June, to participate in inauguration of Satyagraha.
  • Write to Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, Prime Minister and President conveying your feelings and insisting them to refrain from killing people and human rights by drowning them without resettlement with an alternate land.
  • Political Parties/ People's movements, organizations shall take a stand, make it public and pursue it with vigour.
This struggle will decide future of the Narmada valley. Only the unity of people's movements/organizations, thinking citizens, artists, intellectuals and media persons will carry forward a strong alternative movement for people's strength and people's power.

We call unto you be with us, to save the Narmada valley and the nation.

Nurji Padvi Luhariya Shankariya Baba Muhariya
Keshav Vasave Prabhubhai Tadvi Dadlya Karbhari
Gulabsingh Ajit Sukhlal Devram Kanera
Mohan Patidar Kailash Awasiya Ashish Mandloi
Yogini Shobha Geetanjali Clifton
Brijlal Dhansingh Medha Patkar
And all other activists and villagers

Directions

Please inform us about your programme in advance. Bring minimum baggage, strong shoes/chappals, torch, necessary medicines. Be prepared to walk, climb, live with villagers. Reach Baroda/ Badwani office of Narmada Bachao Andolan by afternoon or evening of 29th June.

To reach Domkhedi/ Jalsindhi Satyagraha sites

From Baroda: Take bus from Baroda to Kawant and then to Kadipani. From Kadipani. Hapeshwar,on the banks of Narmada, is 8 kms from. One can reach Hapeshwar either on foot or can wait for Andolan's vehicle to pick up.
From Badwani: Take bus to Chhota Udaipur and from there to Kawant further to Kadipani. Hapeshwar,on the banks of Narmada, is 8 kms from Kadipani. One can reach Hapeshwar either on foot or can wait for Andolan's vehicle to pick up.

 Contact: Bombay: Pervin Jehangir 
 Delhi Forum 011-6880883
 Badwani: 58, Gandhi Marg, Badwani, Madhya Pradesh 451 551,
 #07290-22464(Telefax)
 badwani@medha.org, medha@narmada.org,