| NBA Press Release
|| 03 June 2003
Fifth Day of Fast: Medha Patkar's Health Deteriorates; Struggle will Continue Despite Maharashtra Govt's Apathy.
62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
"It seems that the Maharashtra government has decided not to concede its mistake of raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam up to 100 meters, despite the abject failure even to resettle completely the oustees well below 80 meters of the dam. If the government remains adamant, we too are resolved to continue our struggle to regain the and protect the right to life of the tribals and farmers in the Narmada valley", emphasized a weak and exhausted Medha Patkar on June 3 (Tuesday), the fifth day of her fast in front of the office of Divisional Commissioner in Nashik (Maharashtra).
The tribals from the 33 villages affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) have been on the indefinite dharna from May 26, with a demand for the immediate action on the part of Maharashtra government for complete rehabilitation of over 3000 dam-affected people, threatened with the imminent submergence in the coming monsoon due to raising of the height of the SSP to 100 meters. As there was no response from government even after two meetings with the Commissioner and a ‘warning fast’ by five activists, Medha Patkar launched indefinite fast on May 30, 2003. The Andolan demands that the Maharashtra government should take accept its guilt and initiate immediate action for land-based rehabilitation on war footing, and following the directions of its own Task Force.
On the fifth day, Medha Patkar’s health has further deteriorated considerably. Despite the severe body-pain, vomiting, weakness and other serious symptoms, her determination remained firm. Medha along with the Narmada Bachao Andolan have been demanding that :
We will continue our struggle till then, otherwise the Narmada tribals and farmers too will be faced with same wretched fate as the oustees already displaced in Maharashtra and other states. Meanwhile, various solidarity programmes, including mass actions, demonstrations, delegations and memoranda, were organized in various towns and district headquarters all over Maharashtra. Protest programmes were held in Sangli, Pune, Kolhapur, Malegaon, Chalisgaon, Dhule, Jalgaon, Thane, Aurangabad and Nagpur. The issue has now political proportion, as many political organizations and progressive parties are taking up the demands regarding the unjust displacement, submergence and just resettlement.
The Nashik town has responded to the protest action by the tribals in Satpuda ranges in a superb way. Hundreds of organizations those of organized, on organized workers, farmers, Dalits and backward classes, Adivasis dam-affected people, women’s organizations and veteran social-political workers participated in dharna and extended all help.
(Nashik Contact- 98226 26602)
Pratibha Shinde Geetanjali