Medha Patkar – India

Linked with our presentation of Narmada Bachao Andolan – India.

Linked also with the presentation of The Narmada Dam Project – India.

She says (excerpt): “The first and the foremost are the development issues, which people are raising wherever they are questioning the development process. The point is that the communities which are based on the natural resources are compelled to sacrifice those resources in the name of development, with the principle of eminent domain that the state resorts to. The state takes away these natural resources from the communities, the fish workers, the farmers, or manual labourers. It certainly stands by the marketized, industrialized, urbanized communities, and that small section of the society then uses these resources or the benefits drawn out of these resources at the cost of all those who loose theirs. This society certainly doesn’t give a real share in the benefits to those who sacrifice their land, water, forests. This is considered as a part and parcel of development and the tradeoff that is necessary”. (Read the rest of this very long interview on India Together, about The face of the Narmada).

Medha Patkar – India

She is also one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Among India’s most dynamic activists, Medha tai or Medha didi, as she is called by schoolchildren and police alike, knows the Narmada Valley hamlet by hamlet. Equally fleetfooted on the narrow mountain paths with only a torch and the light of the moon and stars, or on the Indian Railways where all the Ticket Collectors (TCs) are familiar with her travelling karyalaya — documents, banners, pamphlets — Medha Patkar follows the truth to its lair.

Veteran of several fasts, monsoon satyagrahas on the banks of the rising Narmada, her uncompromising insistence on the right to life and livelihood has compelled the post-Independence generation in India as well as around the world to revisit the basic questions of natural resources, human rights, environment, and development. Facing police beatings and many jail terms on the way, she continues to believe in the best of people and the democratic system. She has won over police and even government officers through her simple faith in justice and comprehensive analysis of the facts. At a recent occupation by the Narmada Bachao Andolan of the Ministry of Water Resources in Delhi, a police officer was heard saying on his mobile phone, “But this is not a law and order problem.”

Known and loved by millions of villagers and city-folk of India and theworld over, Medha Patkar, founder of the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of People’s Movements, was born on 1 December 1954 in Bombay. (Read the rest of this long article on sawnet.org).

The Paper ‘The Hindu’ wrote in 2004: For 19 years, social activist Medha Patkar has led the struggle for the people affected by the controversial Sardar Sarovar Project on the Narmada river in four States. Every time elections are round the corner, there is speculation on whether she will take the plunge into electoral politics. A few years ago, she formed the National Alliance of People’s Movements with other activists, against globalisation and corporatisation. From the NAPM this year has emerged the People’s Political Front. She talks to Gargi Parsai on the larger issues involved in the formation of the PPF and electoral politics. (See the rest of this other Interview).

Medha Patkar is a social activist from India. As the leader of Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save Narmada Movement), she alongwith Baba Amte, tribal activists, environmentalists and human rights activists, spearheaded the movement against Sardar Sarovar Dam being built across Narmada river in Gujarat, India. (See the rest on wikipedia).

“…For their inspired opposition to the disastrous Narmada Valley project and the promotion of water and energy alternatives to it that would benefit the poor and the natural environment.” (Read this on rightlivelihood).

links:

friends of river Narmada;

Times of India;

Read this Interview with Medha Patkar on AlterNet.

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