The peoples’ struggle in the Narmada valley over last 32 years has faced a number of crisis and challenges during various phases of our battle against unjust displacement and ecological destruction. Today, the situation with respect to costs, benefits, impacts of Sardar Sarovar and the mother river Narmada itself is such that much work on mass mobilization, legal action, surveys to reconstruction works with innovative planning and strategic inputs need to be done. Please note that with the river being seriously dry and half dead, there is a crisis, not of submergence but of drought to be faced in the upcoming months. Then will arrive monsoon, with or without flood…. Such a cycle is to affect all in the upstream and downstream of the Dam, necessitating a number of actions – investigation research, mobilizing supporters to compelling the authorities to act. Work will be on preparing hundreds of petitions by individual families before the Madhya Pradesh High Court, follow up on cases pending before the Grievance Redressal Authority, as well as on Forest Rights Act to Jeevanshalas (the Schools of Life). This is required to be undertaken in all the three states, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. One more challenge is to take up an exercise of preparing village level micro-plans in the hilly region, Adivasi communities in Maharashtra (and partly in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh), with the families who are to be left behind in the hamlets and hilly forest villages, outside submergence area, adjacent to the giant Sardar Sarovar reservoir. They need support from the civil society organizations as well as government authorities. A group of youngsters, if intervened in development planning, could reach out to these interior (yet accessible by road and boats) communities and prepare a suitable plan for water supply, agricultural protection and development, irrigation, sources of energy, communications as well as new income generation schemes in the renewed situation and resources.
All these above tasks may sound stupendous and need to be carried out, side by side with protest actions and our educational activities as always.
You surely will realize that this can’t happen without a solid force of student–volunteers and others who are willing to work with us, the people and activists together.
We, therefore, appeal to you all, to take time off, spare your vacation or otherwise, and be a part of the work over next few months. Let us know at the earliest as to who of you can make it to the valley, when and for how many -15 and more days.
Just to help us plan your days and tasks, please fill in the form for each one, providing some basic information, choice and preference in work, special skills, language and experience.
Contact: [email protected]
Himshi Singh: [email protected] (9867348307)