| NBA Press Release
|| 22 May 2003
Shobha Wagh, a woman with grit and silent determination
62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Shobha Wagh, our comrade-in-arms for over half a decade, working in the tribal areas of Satpuda ranges in Narmada valley with grit and determination, died as she was trapped in the silt and water of the Sardar Sarovar dam in Domkhedi (Dt. Nandurbar) on Thursday, May 22. She was 25 and is survived by her aged parents, two sisters and one young brother. She was mainly working with the tribal villages in Maharashtra and the Jeevan Shalas (the Schools) of the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
On Thursday, she was going to hold a meeting of the villagers of Domkhedi and adjacent Nimgavhan villages at 11 in the morning, to prepare for the a mass action in Nashik, at the Commissionerís Office, against the unjust decision to raise the height of the dam upto 100 meters. Before the meeting, she went for bathing in nearby Khad River, a tributary, which immediately joins Narmada near Nimgavhan. As she did not arrive for a long time, people searched for her, in the river and they found her trapped and dead, in the silt and the water.
Shy, gentle and frail, Shobha had a determination and grit to work in the villages in mountainous terrain of the Satpuda ranges in Akrani and Akkalkua tehsils. She took special interest in the schools started by the Andolan. Shobha came from an extremely poor family and was studying second year of law when she joined the Andolan during the monsoon Satyagraha of 1997. There is no one except her at her home who can earn for the family. But despite the difficulties on the home front, Shobha opted to live with the struggling tribals in the Satpuda villages and that became her home for last six years.
We lost our comrade, a caring, quiet and intense, sensitive and determined, with a silent conviction and grit.
Shobha is also the fourth victim of the Sardar Sarovar dam. The level of Khad river too was rose due to the submergence water and large-scale silt deposits were accumulated in an around the villages, even when the people were residing there. The submergence and siltation was imposed on them. It became practically impossible for the people to bathe, wash clothes and collect drinking water, as they had to wade with difficulty through the five to ten feet deep mud. Many cattle died as they were trapped in the silt. In 2000, Lata Vasave, a schoolchild from Nimgavhan's jeevan shala died as she fell in the river and was trapped in the silt. Shobha is fourth such human victim of the silt and dam water. She will be given the last salute at her village Bolthan, near Malegaon in Nashik district.
We salute Shobha, will cherish her memory and believe that she is with us.
(To convey any message to the activists, family members, contact Sanjay Joshi, Mobile- 9422247789, 9822667793 )
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