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Press Note                                 September 04, 1999

SYMBOLIC 'SUBMERGENCE' OF NVDA OFFICE BY NIMAD YOUTHS
SATYAGRAHA CONTINUES DESPITE SUBMERGENCE

Hundreds of young activists from the Nimad region in the Narmada valley demonstrated in front of the office of the Narmada valley Development Authority (NVDA) in Manawar ( M.P.) and 'submerged' the office with the slush and water on August 30. They were protesting against the unjust submergence in the Narmada valley , particularly on August 10-11, caused by the complicity of the state government through the false affidavits regarding the resettlement.

The youths in the Narmada valley (Rewa ke Yuva - Youths of Rewa, that is, Narmada)organised the programme with the cooperation of other activists in the Narmada valley. They were agitated over the fact that the government had compelled the villagers and satyagrahis to face the submergence water of the Sardar4 Sarovar Project. "This is unjust and violation of all the constitutional and human rights and against the larger justice for the downtrodden", they asserted.

Meanwhile, the satyagraha at Domkhedi and Jalsindhi villages has been continuing despite the dangerous floods and submergence of the houses and fields. They have announced that in case of the renewded submergence, the satyagraha would not be confined to the two villages but the people would confront the waters in different villages in their houses. The people, still determined to stay put are planning the new programmes regarding their rights.

Global Support

Number of organisations from different parts of India and world are visiting the satyagraha villages. Over twenty five representatives of various radical organisations in Western Europe, north America related with the People's Global Action (PGA) against the free trade and World Trade Organisation (WTO) stayed at Satyagraha place to express their solidarity. Activists from Germany, Switzerland, U.K., USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Austria visited the villages like Domkhedi, Jalsindhi, Nimgavhan, Atti, Pipalchowk, Manibeli in the tribal regions and Narmada valley and assessed the situation arising out of the submergence and displacement. They also visited the Jeevan Shala ( School) run by the Andolan.

A group of four activists of the Assembly of Poor from Thailand also participated in the satyagraha in Domkhedi and Jalsindhi. The group included the representatives of the villagers struggling against the controversial Pak Mun dam in the North Eastern Thailand in the Mekong valley. They narrated the destruction unleashed by the dam, particularly on the fisheries downstream, which has snatched away the livelihood of thousands of families.

The Satyagraha is continuing with the increasing participation from the villagers in the tribal and non-tribal areas of the valley. On September 6-8, a Youth Camp is being organised at Domkhedi; on August 8-9, the representatives from the tribal villages would have a camp about the constructive work in the SSP affected area.

Sanjay Sangvai