Lokshakti Abhiyan

 

Save The Nation!                                                    Build The Nation!

 

Lokshakti Abhiyan

Against Corruption, Injustice and Inequality...

Towards Peace, Justice, Progress and Democracy...

Come and be a part of the campaign!

 
5. Programmes for Phase Four in Goa in Maharashtra 6th-13th February, 2012 HINDI | ENGLISH
 

Introduction

Recent turmoil in the country has shown the desire and will of the people for systemic change. It is evident that the constitution is often respected but rarely followed. That is why, in order to have fundamental changes, along with the constitution, it is also necessary for there to be an acceptance and clarity of the issues and a basis of the values involved. If the state does not recognise its duty to act on the values  of equality, justice, simplicity, self reliance etc. as enshrined in the directive principles in the constitution, then we  will have to motivate the citizens of this country to bring about a change in the ‘state’. The society then also needs to challenge itself. The inspired masses that have stood against corruption need to raise their voice against injustice too and instead of contributing to the destruction of resources and displacement, work towards human development for a beautiful and prosperous country.

Corruption is the reason for as well as a product of inequality, violence, loot and exploitation. Politics and economics are the means of corruption. It is important to change this now. It is important that along with the country’s manual labourers, peasants, workers, artisans etc. and the oppressed tribals, dalits, etc. sensitive and thoughtful citizens of this country participate in this campaign too. Every committed and responsible citizen should give at least 2 - 4 hours of his/her day  or one day a week for development work (education, health, domestic production, service of the underprivileged etc.)

Join for democratic reforms, for a people’s democracy...

1. There is a lot of corruption in the politics and administration of the country. To  change this, we need electoral and political reforms. Politics should not only be a game of the capitalists but also work  in the interests of the common masses. This is the basis of a true democracy.

2. Instead of demanding 33% reservation for women in parliamentary institutions, let there be representation of both sexes from each constituency at every level of governance.

3. There should be an 80% attendance rate of representatives in the Vidhan Sabha or Lok Sabha and for the rest of the days in their electoral constituencies. Election expenses for publicity should be according to the rules and the minimum expenses for the candidates should be from the allotted election funds. The promises made by politicians and their parties in manifestos should be made binding on them.

4. The public should be given the “Right Not to Vote”, also called the “Right to Reject” so if there is not a suitable candidate in the elections and they can express their dislike.

5. Politicians, officials and employees should lead simple life styles. There should be a reduction in their unnecessary privileges.

6. There should be no violence and terrorism directed from the state. In the advent of every issue of dispute and conflict the country should adopt a line of dialogue. Public dialogue and public hearings should be organised to resolve conflicts.

Join for economic and social reforms towards a socialist society...

1.      The first right  to water, forests, land, minerals etc should be of Gram Sabha or Basti Sabha.The issues of development and the progress of a village or Basti should be first decided by the residents, and the decisions made by Gram Sabha and Basti Sabha should be on the basis  of progress and employment. There should be an end to forced displacement of people from their land and a law for development planning should be made.

2.      There should be strict controls upon the transfer and use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. There should be no encouragement  of corporatisation and contract farming and the influx of foreign capital in retail trade should be stopped. By implementing a land ceiling in rural and urban areas there should be equitable and fair use of the land. The excess land left after  the ceiling should be distributed to the landless over which ownership should be given to both men and women. There should be no inequality in fixing prices of agriculture and industry products, let there be a proportionate equity.

3.      There should be an end to inequality in the country. The politicians are working only for the interests of a handful of people, not for the interests of the masses. There shouldn’t be a difference of more than 1:10 in the income of the people and a line of prosperity should be determined. Tax should be levied on property  and assets, not on small productions or incomes.

4.      The honest producers of this country – workers, artisans, fisher folks, and others in unprotected and unorganised sectors continue to be oppressed and often victimised. The 93% of workers who have been denied social security pensions should be given protection equivalent to the organised and secured sectors. There should be access to food, water, shelter etc. to everyone equitably. Every service, every resource or development benefits should be equitably distributed.

5.      Minimum wages should be as such that the whole family is provided for by the income of one. The below poverty line families list should be renumerated by the members of the gram sabha or the electorate of the urban areas.

6.      The violence, discrimination and injustice upon dalits, tribals, women and minorities should be stopped and they should be given just treatment and respect.

Lokshakti Abhiyan’s 4th Phase in Maharastra, Karnataka and Goa concludes

National Jan Sansad During Budget Session. New Delhi, March 19th - 23rd

Nagpur, February 13: The Lokshakti Abhiyan ended in Nagpur with a meeting of activists from 12 states meeting at Vinoba Vichar Kendra, Sarvoday Ashram who decided to hold a national Jan Sansad in New Delhi from March 19th-23rd during the Budget Session of the Parliament. Activists working on land rights, anti corruption, mining, SEZs and other peoples’ movements from across the country have pledged to join the Jan Sansad in large number in Delhi so as to make a step towards a true people’s democracy.

Key issues

  • communities control over land, water, forest and minerals, development planning and alternative development.
  • Unorganised sector workers, urban poor, against inequality and towards equity and community
  • electoral politics and people – electoral reforms

proposed programme

  • March 19 : Lokshakti Abhiyan Programmes discussion at three locations in Delhi
  • March 20 – 22 : Jan Sansad on the key issues mentioned above 
  • March 22 – 23 : Adoption of Jan Sansad Resolution and March to parliament

Brief of Lokshakti Abhiyan's Tour of Mahrashtra, Karnataka and Goa

On February 6th a historic Lokmanch was conducted at Azaad Maidan at which candidates from different political parties, independent candidates and from alliances were given a platform to put forward their agendas before the elections in front of people from bastis like Mankur Mandala, Malad, Golibar, Rafiq Nagar etc in Mumbai. What was different about this platform was that these candidates were not allowed to just make promises and leave the stage. They were made to stay back and answer specific questions raised by working class populations from the bastis in Mumbai about slum demolitions, water supply and health facilities . Our comrades from the bastis who are involved in many struggles like the Ghar Bachao, Ghar Banao andolan emerged as politically conscious citizens putting forward their demands strongly and holding the candidates accountable for their statements and actions. Azaad Maidan echoed with slogans of azaadi from political, social and economic oppression on this day and the echoes will hopefully be heard above the sounds of the traffic on the  busy streets of Mumbai and jolt the government into action.

The Lokshakti Abhiyan stands for the demands of people’s democracy, land rights, anti SEZs and other anti people policies passed by the government callously that are adversely affecting adivasis, dalits, working class and other marginalized communities across the country. Medha Patkar,Om Vathiji, Ved Vathiji, Raj Singh from Haryana- Delhi border fighting for land rights over their farm, Roshanlal Agarwal whose demand is for the removal of BPL and the imposition of property tax on the rich, Nagesh Tripathy from Kanpur, Mansaram Kaka, Vijay Bhai and Rattanji from Narmada Bachao Andolan, Naneswar Bhai and Madhuri Sivkar from Ghar Bachao , Ghar Banao Andolan, Suniti SR from Pune, Suhas Kolhekar from Pune, Sawantji and Mahesh from Yusuf Meherally Centre, Dr Sunilam, Adv Aradhana Bhargava, Madhuresh Kumar, Ashu, Anjali, Gee Ameena Suleiman and Seela were part of the Lokshakti Abhiyan team. Most of the people on the Abhiyan team have been fighting for housing rights, land rights and against corporate exploitation and hence, they could politically appeal to the masses and lend solidarity as insiders talking to other insiders struggling.

Land  and forest rights to farmers, tillers, adivasis and other forest dwellers

The Bidkin village in Aurangabad is affected by the proposed Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor is a mega infra-structure project of USD 90 billion with the financial & technical aids from Japan, covering an overall length of 1483 kms between Delhi and Mumbai. The Government of India has announced establishing of the Multi-modal High Axle Load Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) between Delhi and Mumbai, covering an overall length of 1483 km and passing through the six States - U.P, NCR of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra, with end terminals at Dadri in the National Capital Region of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai. This corridor will be equipped with an array of infrastructure facilities such as power facilities, rail connectivity to ports en route etc. Approximately 180 million people, 14 percent of the population, will be affected by the corridor’s development. As with any other mega development projects that we have seen the government approve and implement, there are serious issues of displacement with this DMIC project.It is estimated that implementation of DMIC Project requires an investment of US$90Billion for developing projects that can be implemented through Public Private Partnership (PPP) and for projects that need to be developed through budgetary resources.

At Brhamapuri, Chandrapur district in Nagpur, Bhumi Haqq Andolan hosted a Bhumi Haqq Parishad which was coordinated by Suhdakar Mahadore and many others from the Gadchiroli region joined in too. The Parishad discussed the problems arising out of the construction of the Ghosi Khurd dam, approved as early as 1982 and subsequent displacement by the construction of canals in the area. The dam and the have been constructed at a cost of around 500 crores. Among the farmers who have been given compensation, only 10% of the total market value of the land has been given. There is a sizeable number of farmers who are yet to receive compensation after the forceful acquisition of their land. Bhumi haqq parishad also demanded -

  • The proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006. There is a huge population of Gond adivasis, nomadic tribals and OBCs who are struggling for Forest Rights Act to be implemented.
  • Pattas / land titles have not been given to the community of farmers. The lack of documentation of their rights over their land has made it difficult for the farmers to claim their rights with the government. The three generation proof for most of the traditional forest dwellers is not allowing them their rights.
  • Compensation to be given to the rest of the farmers who are yet to receive compensation from the government. The difference in market value of the compensation already given to be paid.

The Parishad Abhiyan team went to Pavani taluk in Bhandara district where the main issue is over the waste disposal of Nagpur being directed into The Vain Ganga river, affecting their livelihoods and the quality of their lives in the region.

Development projects such as these displace farmers, adivasis and other working class communities without providing any rehabilitation packages that are even close to being fair. Rehabilitation as a concept itself is flawed when talking about communities like adivasis and farmers ,dependant on natural resources and having a long standing relationship of dependence on their environmental habitats. The need of the hour is to stand together and put up strong resistance to such detrimental “developmental” plans. Whose development is at stake here? Who are the players in such deals who reap profits and whose voices are silenced by force? It is these silenced but not silent voices that need to be heard by the entire nation. Our country is predominantly agricultural. The road to development is not by destroying farmlands and forests for mega scale infrastructural/industrial projects. Such projects that destroy our jal, jangal and zameen [water, land and forest resources] will only pave the way to complete destruction of our economy.

Special Economic Zones or Special Exploitation Zones?

In 2006, 3 SEZs covering three villages were allotted. Because of the non transparent way in which the allotment was done, people came to know about it only in 2007 after filing an RTI. There was a non violent agitation against this because of the fact that SEZs are autonomous bodies that have their own labour rules and hence gross violations of labour laws, uninterrupted power and water supply and are exempted from taxes. In short, SEZs are a free gateway for companies to strike deals with the government for robbing the country of natural resources in broad daylight. While the agitation against the SEZ allotments happened, the construction in the sites continued uninterrupted. The construction then had to be stopped physically by the people in the Andolan. On 12thApril 2006, 4 companies applied for SEZs and within 7 days the allotments came through. The speed with which the allotments were made shows the thoughtless anti people policies passed by the government. It was only in November 2010 that the High Court squashed the order on the allotments. But the land was still not given back to the people of the villages, without whose consent the allotments were made. The companies involved in this have challenged the High court order in the Supreme Court. The demands of the struggle in Goa are that the land should be given back to the rightful owners i.e, the villagers and strict disciplinary action should be taken against the companies to set a precedent and prevent this in future. FIRs were lodged in local police stations but not registered. For this, the local courts have been approached by the people fighting the struggle.

Micro Industrial Zones are also a cause for concern as is the issue of the privatization of health centres. In Panjim, the government hospital was shut down and the first medical college in Asia set up during Portugese rule is used only once a year for the International Film Festival! In Raibunder Maternity hospital has been converted into a management institute! It is clear from all these instances,  that corruption is a reason and also an outcome of social inequalities and to fight for the right to health, shelter and life can be fought only by tackling all these issues together, through a combined struggle of all marginalized communities.

Environmental and Economic Issues of Mining

The disastrous impacts of mining on the environment apart from affecting the water resources through contamination and the destruction of the soil and displacement issues, mining has grave implications in the economic front. Most of the iron ore resources are mined and exported to China from India. Mines cannot be “owned” by anyone, it belongs to the public. This was upheld by a Supreme Court judgment in the Reliance Vs Government of India case dealing with rights over gas resources. The Court ruled that the government is only the custodian of natural resources and not the owner. The ownership of shared natural resources is with the public. In Goa, leases for mining are given free of cost, without even auctions. There are 91 mines in Goa making a profit of 20,000 crores in a year, whereas, the total budget of Goa is only 8000 crore for a year!There are 360 mines that are not operative all the time, but given on leases making the total number of mines in Goa close to 450! There have been very militant struggles by indigenous peoples against mining projects by Vedanta in Niyamgiri, POSCO in Jagatsingpur,Orissa etc. The government paves the way for these companies to loot the country of its natural resources in broad daylight. Our voices of protest against this daylight robbery of what rightfully belongs to the indigenous peoples of our country needs to be strong and echo throughout the world so that we can successfully stop the neo liberal policies of the government opening up the nation to large scale neo imperialist exploitation.

Housing rights and the struggle against builders

The Lokshakti Abhiyan team went to Sinchan Bhavan, to meet officials from the Krishna Kore development authority and engineers. The main issue discussed was the Lavasa Hill City developed by Lavasa Corporation Limited in the hill stations on the outskirts of Pune and the Special Planning Authority given to the company by the government. The Lavasa Corporation Limited has shown on official documents that the work for Hotel Fortune was started in 2004 and completed in 2008. The Lavasa Corporation was given SPA status in June 2008, and the Hotel building was approved in the same year. The work of the Hotel was however completed within one month of the approval date for the project!

There are also other issues like illegal construction work being carried on in other buildings like the Country Club, Convention Centre, Portfino Apartments, Retail and Hostel. It is clear in this case that the post facto approval was given by the government illegally. Lavasa Corporation has also included 1236 ha of disputed MKDVC land. Wrong figures in building sections to fit permissible heights for such buildings specified by hill station by laws are also a serious offense. To get larger frontage of water body to the buildings under Lavasa’s construction, they have also reclaimed land under dam. This has affected the capacity of the dam. The demands of the team who went to meet the Collector also later with community people and other supporters and activists are -

  • Special Planning Authority should not be given to any private company
  • All approvals given to Lavasa Corporation Limited be treated and declared as null and void.
  • Strict disciplinary action should be taken against Lavasa Corporation Ltd so that it acts as a detriment to any future such deals being made between the government and private companies.

It is clear that the government of our country has been time and again passing anti people policies and openly functioning hand in hand with private builders, Multinational Corporations, Mining companies etc. It is imperative that the voices of all marginalised communities should come together on all these issues and force the government to take action to protect the citizens of our country instead of making them scapegoats for mega developmental projects.

Conclusion

Lokshakti Abhiyan went to several villages and towns in Maharshtra and Goa where many of the struggles have not been reported in the national media thought they have been going on for years. It is important that news about these struggles is disseminated to everyone and we lend solidarity to smaller struggles. One of the ways in which the State has reared its oppressive hammer to squash protest is by taking over mainstream media and imprisoning people who raise questions or fight for the rights of their communities. It is important to fight for the release of all our comrades like Soni Sori, Lingaram Kodopi, Bhagawati Sahu, Kartam Joga, Sukhnath Oyami and many others languishing in jail as political prisoners. Such a struggle is necessary to uphold our democratic right to freedom and voice our opinions publically. The struggle over livelihood, land rights, housing rights, anti capitalist agendas, mega developmental projects must continue unabated and the slogans of our struggle must be heard in all corners of our subcontinent and beyond so that such exploitation does not continue unchecked.

Medha Patkar, Dr. Sunilam, Suniti S R, Gautam Bandopadhyay, Vilas Bhongade, Manish Gupta, Gabriele Dietrich, Vimal Bhai, Bhupinder Singh Rawat, Gurwant Singh, Rakesh Rafiq, Madhuresh Kumar

Contact : 9818905316 | 9212587159 | napmindia@gmail.com

Update from Lokshakti Abhiyan in Goa

Pune, February 10 : It was the second day of its engagements in Goa yesterday. The LokshaktiAbhiyan held a meeting with local activists and media persons at 10.30 a.m in TB Cunha Memorial Hall in Panjim, Goa. Medha Patkar, Swati an activist from Goa, noted environmentalist Praveen ShabnisFrankie Monteiro, Zareen Dacunha, Abhijit Prabhu Desai and Rajendra Kapodkarwere the main speakers at the meeting. Rajendra Kapodkar spoke about the disastrous impacts of mining on the environment part from affecting the water resources through contamination and the destruction of the soil and displacement issues, mining has grave implications in the economic front. Most of the iron ore resources are mined and exported to China from India. Mines cannot be “owned” by anyone, it belongs to the public. This was upheld by a Supreme Court judgement in the Reliance Vs Government of India case dealing with rights over gas resources. The Court ruled that the government is only the custodian of natural resources and not the owner. The ownership of shared natural resources is with the public. In Goa, leases for mining are given free of cost, without even auctions. There are 91 mines in Goa making a profit of 20,000 crores in a year, whereas, the total budget of Goa is only 8000 crore for a year!There are 360 mines that are not operative all the time, but given on leases making the total number of mines in Goa close to 450!

Frankie Monteiro spoke about Special Economic Zones in Goa and the struggle that went into the government finally giving an order to scrap all SEZ projects in the State. In 2006, 3 SEZs covering three villages were allotted. Because of the non transparent way in which the allotment was done, people came to know about it only in 2007 after filing an RTI. There was a non violent agitation against this because of the fact that SEZs are autonomous bodies that have their own labour rules and hence gross violations of labour laws, uninterrupted power and water supply and are exempted from taxes. In short, SEZs are a free gateway for companies to strike deals with the government for robbing the country of natural resources in broad daylight. While the agitation against the SEZ allotments happened, the construction in the sites continued uninterrupted. The construction then had to be stopped physically by the people in the Andolan. On 12th April 2006, 4 companies applied for SEZs and within 7 days the allotments came through. The speed with which the allotments were made shows the thoughtless anti people policies passed by the government. It was only in November 2010 that the High Court squashed the order on the allotments. But the land was still not given back to the people of the villages, without whose consent the allotments were made. The companies involved in this have challenged the High court order in the Supreme Court. The demands of the struggle are that the land should be given back to the rightful owners i.e, the villagers and strict disciplinary action should be taken against the companies to set a precedent and prevent this in future. FIRs were lodged in local police stations but not registered. For this, the local courts have been approached by the people fighting the struggle.

Micro Industrial Zones are also a cause for concern as is the issue of the privatization of health centres. In Panjim, the government hospital was shut down and the first medical college in Asia set up during Portugese rule is used only once a year for the International Film Festival! In Raibunder Maternity hospital has been converted into a management institute! It is clear from all these instances, that corruption is a reason and also an outcome of social inequalities and to fight for the right to health, shelter and life can be fought only by tackling all these issues together, through a combined struggle.

At 3 p.m, the Lokshakti Abhiyan went to Khandola and Medha Patkar and team had a small discussion with the farmers of the area who spoke about the issues of water pollution from factories nearby and the resultant low yield of agricultural produce compared to before in the area. Following this, there was a public meeting which was attended by a lot of women and agricultural labourers in which Medha Patkar lent solidarity to their struggle and also spoke about other similar struggles in different parts of the country.

At 7 p.m , The Lokshakti Abhiyan team went to Deen Dayal Hall in Bicholim, Goa for a public meeting where Medha Patkar spoke about issues of land acquisition, SEZs and slum demolitions in urban areas. The public meeting was attended by more than 500 people in Bicholim and ended on a high spirited note with everyone joining in on sloganeering for the victory of our peoples’ movements. Today the Lokshakti Abhiyan is holding meetings with activists and civil society in Pune and will proceed to Aurangabad in evening.

For Abhiyan

Suhas Kolhekar, Suniti S R, Prasad Bagwe, Nagesh Tripathy, Seela Manswinee, Gee Ameena Suleiman

Contact for details : 9212587159

Lokshakti Abhiyan : Update from Maharashtra and Goa

February 8, Panjim : Lok Shakti Abhiyan entered into the third day of the 4th phase today. Abhiyan held a press conference on 8th Feb, 2012, at Barrister Nath Pai Bahudeshiya Sabhagraha in Savantwadi at 10.30 pm as part of its Maharastra campaign to spread awareness about corruption and other related issues. Medha Patkar, Ravi Kiranfrom Malvan, Maharashtra, noted environmentalist Praveen Sabnish from Goa and Suhas Kolhekar spoke about the environmental impacts of the anti people policies which affects livelihoods as well as the ecosystem at large.

Ravi Kiran of Shramik Machimaar Sangh spoke specifically about the Sindhudurg Fisher people’s Struggle and how traditional fisher people are fighting for the right to livelihood because of the destruction of the natural resources due to Purse Seine Net fishing and large fishing trawlers. Purse Seine Net is a means of catching surface fish at sea in cases where a shoal of fish is visible or where they can be attracted into a small area by the use of powerful lights. While the fish with market value is kept for sale, smaller fish that don’t generate much income is thrown away. At one time, with Purse Seine Net, fish equivalent to the catch of 200 traditional fish workers working at a single time is caught. In 2004, the Maharashtra High Court gave an order sanctioning the right to fish anywhere that worked in the favour of these large scale fishing companies. The High Court decision has been challenged in 2005, in the Supreme Court by Shramik Machimaar Sangh, constituent National Fish workers Forum, but the case is still going on and is being argued by noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan. The demand of the local traditional fisher people seeking ban on Purse Seine Net fishing to protect their fundamental right to life and livelihood must be met which will also stop the large-scale depletion of natural resources.

Praveen Sabnish also stressed on the importance of learning from the environmental destruction of the coast of Goa before the destruction of the Maharashtra part of the Konkan coast is complete. When the ore is taken out during mining, the capacity of the soil to retain water is lost and this affects the eco system in a serious way. 99% of the mining companies are owned by Saraswat Brahmins and the ways in which old, pre modern institutions like caste collude with capitalism to start a renewed exploitation of the already marginalized is seen by this. The privatization of the health system was also highlighted in the press conference. Thermal power plants coming up along the coasts and the environmental destruction caused as a result of this was also discussed in the conference. Corruption is a result of and one of the reasons for the largescale exploitation of traditional fisher people, forest dwellers, adivasis, dalits etc and the need of the hour is a combined and united struggle by all marginalized communities.

Medha Patkar later delivered a talk titled 'Reviewing Development Paradigm : Contribution of People's Movements' at the D D Kosambi Festival of Ideas in Panjim. She emphasized at the power of the people in the country for alternative development over the recent development paradigm. She put the idea of Gram Sabha over the Lok Sabha before the audience in the festival and said people's movements are not anti development but they are redifining the ideas of development and pushing us all to think and act for future generations and conserve precious natural resources. Government and the present generation is only a trustee of the commons and it is our solemn duty to preserve it for future.

Tomorrow, the Abhiyan will hold a joint meeting with the activists from Goa on illegal mining and different issues and a press conference followed by a public meeting at Bichhaulin in Goa.

National Alliance of People's Movements

For details call : Seela Manaswinee 9212587159

 

 

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पिम्परी चिन्च्वर, पुणे

विभिन्न राजनैतिक दलों के उमीदवारों के साथ लोकशक्ति अभियान के मुद्दों पर चर्चा

सुनीति एस आर

सुहास कोल्हेकर 9422986771

११ फरवरी

औरंगाबाद

 

सुभाष लोमटे 9422202203

विजय दीवान 

१२ फरवरी

१२ बजे दोपहर से

ब्रहमपुरी, नागपुर से १२४ किलोमीटर दूर

किसानो के साथ खेती, विस्थापन और अन्य मुद्दों पर आम सभा

विलास भोंगाडे 9890336873

१२ फरवरी

५:३० बजे

नागपुर

प्रेस वार्ता

विलास भोंगाडे

१२ फरवरी

 ७:०० बजे से 

MIHAN & Cargo Hub के क्षेत्र में, नागपुर 

आमसभा

एडवोकेट काले

१३ फरवरी

९ बजे से ६ बजे तक

नागपुर

मार्च महीने में  संसद सत्र के दौरान  लोकशक्ति अभियान के होने वाली जनसंसद की  राष्ट्रीय तैयारी बैठक 

मधुरेश कुमार 9818905316

विलास भोंगाडे

 

 

 

6th-13th February, 2012

Contact Persons-

For Maharashtra: Suniti S R- 09423571784,   Suhas Kolhekar- 09422986771

For Karnataka : Vijay Metarna : 9422264213

For Goa:                 Dinesh Waghela- 09422443390

 

Date and Time

Place

Programme

Local Contact

6th February

11AM- 4 PM

Azad Maidan, Mumbai

LokManch

(Discussion between Candidates or Spokespersons from the political parties and People)

Sandeep Yevale 9819307419

Sumit Wanjale 9892727063

Madhuri Shivkar 9892143242

 

7th February

9 – 11 AM

 

 

12 o’clock

 

Kolhapur

Meeting with broad group of Organisations and supporters

 

Press Conference

Uday Gaikwad 9822194393

7th February

Kurli Village on way to Nipani

Abhiyan meeting with villagers on village Development 

Vijay

 9422264213

7th February

3 PM

Nipani, Karnataka

Meeting with different organisations on Lok Shakti Abhiyan

Vijay

 9422264213

7th February

7 PM

Belgaum, Karnataka

Public Meeting of Forum Against Corruption

Vijay

 9422264213

8th February

10 AM - 12

 

Panjim, Goa

Joint Meeting with activists in Goa 

Dinesh Waghela

9422443390

8th February

6 PM

Kala Academy,

Panjim, Goa

Lecture by Medha Patkar at ‘D D Koshambi Festival of Ideas’ organised by Government of Goa  

Dinesh Waghela 9422443390

 

9th February

10 AM onwards

Banwali, Goa 

Meeting with activists involved in actions against illegal mining

Dinesh Waghela 9422443390

Praveen Sabnis  9422640141

9th February

3 Pm onwards

Bichhouli, Goa

Public Meeting

Rajendra Kerkar

10th February

10AM onwards

 

Krishna River Khore Development Authority, Pune 

Protest and Public Meeting

Suniti S R 9423571784

Prasad Bagve 9049533394

10th February

6.30 Pm onwards

Pimpri- Chinchwad, Pune

Discussion with candidates from different political parties on the issues of Lok Shakti Abhiyan

Suniti S R

9423571784

Suhas Kolhekar 9422986771

11 February

Aurangabad

 

Subahsh Lomte 9422202203

Vijay Diwan 

12th February

12 onwards

Brahmapuri, 124 kms from Nagpur

Public Meeting with Farmers on Agriculture, Displacement etc.

Vilas Bhongade 9890336873

12th February

5.30 PM

Nagpur

Press Conference

Vilas Bhongade 9890336873

12th February

7 PM onwards

 

 MIHAN & Cargo Hub Zone, Nagpur 

Public Meeting

Advocate Kale

13th February

9AM- 6 PM

Nagpur

National Planning Meeting for the Jan Sansad in March by Lok Shakti Abhiyan

Madhuresh Kumar 9818905316

Vilas Bhongade 9890336873

 
 
Muzaffarpur, January 25 : Lokshakti Abhiyan on its second and third day travelled across the North Bihar in Kosi region and Muzaffarpur. We were surprised to see a state credited with double digit growth is embroiled in such poverty, distress and conflict. A state wanting to industrialise and develop but not knowing how to develop with a difference. The model is no different. Same story. Forced land acquisition for Asbestos factory in Madban, Muzzafarpur. Acquisition of village common road or land for Starch Factory in Bhajanpur, Farbesganj. Lakhs of acres of fertile land destroyed in Kosi floods, which is not natural but man-made.

Our meeting in Bhajanpur with the family of four who were killed in police firing while protesting against the Starch Factory was heart rending. The firing took place in June 2011 but till date no justice has been done, neither any action has been taken by the government against the police officials. Infact the SP of the Araria district has now been transferred with a promotion to Senior SP of another district. There is widespread fear in the area in the still, infact the day we visited there administration was trying to facilitate a settlement where the only road to the village, at the centre of the controversy will be handed to the starch factory. The visit by Abhiyan and address by Medha Patkar encouraged them and disturbed the plan of settlement. NHRC has asked for a report from the state government but the 'progressive' state has relieved its responsibilities by appointing one person committee which till date has not bothered to visit the area and whose term has already been extended four times. The village has a largely poor Muslim population and we were left wondering if government had any other motive behind it.

Late in the day on January 24 we arrived in Beerpur, Kosi region after traveling through roads surrounded on both sides by miles and miles of fertile agriculture land covered by sand. We saw some patches of land which were reclaimed and were being farmed but the extent of damage done by the floods will take much longer unless government invests in it. We encountered so many marginal farmers and workers who have lost their land but without any relief till date. Roads have not been built, schools are in shamble inspite of so much money spent on it. On the other hand in the name of building Mahasetu on Kosi thousands of families living in the floodplain have now been exposed to the perpetual risk of displacement. The World Bank has been investing money in the region but towards what result ? It is leading to the displacement and further impoverishment, money spent but without relief.

Today Lokshakti Abhiyan reached Muzaffarpur and visited Kanti Thermal Power plant area where workers have their own problems but people living in the town itself have no access to electricity, all they have is the side effects of a thermal power plant and police action when they protest. 120 MW thermal plant of Bihar Government was a dream project of George Fernandes and built in 1982. in 2005-06 an expansion to 240 MW was sanctioned in collaboration with NTPC. Right from the beginning residents of the area were promised 24 hours electricity but till date nothing has come. They suffer the burnt of it but the cities enjoy the benefit of electricity produced at their cost. On 2nd October, on Gandhi Jayanti they started an indefinite hunger strike. On 6th October police swung in action and took 47 of them under arrest and added 81 more names as co-accused. Various representations to the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has gone on deaf years.

Good roads are being celebrated as the achievement of Bihar government but at what cost. We met the farmers from Laskripur, Sadatpur, Madhuban, Bajhila of Muzaffarpur whose land is being acquired for the National Highway 77 expansion. They have been protesting the forced land acquisition. They have not been left with a choice, without any consultation with them notices have been issued to them and prices at Rs 1,20,000 per acre offered to them. They have led roadblocks, petitioned but no action from the government.

The tale of Madwan village 20 Kms from Muzzafarpur is also the same. Bal Mukund industries have been allotted land for Asbestos factory in the name of industrialisation in the middle of the rich fertile agricultural land. Farmers and workers of the area led a valiant struggle against the Asbestos factory. After police action against them in early January, 2011 work is suspended but no action of denotification or annulment of the agreement has been initiated by the government.

We have been left wondering who is responsible ? Is this the way to develop ? Can we really ignore this as victims in the process of development ? Can we ignore the frequent police action on peaceful protesters every now and then ? Why is Nitish Kumar seen as the Chief Minister who doesn't meet anybody who protests or dissents ?

Even as we look for answers for these questions Lokshakti Abhiyan moves to Gopalgunj and Siwan tomorrow. We do hope the Chief Minister will meet our delegation on 27th January. See the details of previous updates at http://napm-india.org/Lokshakti_Abhiyan.

Medha Patkar, Vijay Kumar, J P Singh, Rajendra Ravi, Rakesh Rafiq, Roshanlal Agarwal, Kamayani Swami, Mahendra Yadav, Nagesh Tripathi, Ashu Chauhan, Amar Misra, Arjun Singh, Ashok Purusharthi, Thakur Devendra, Madhuresh Kumar.

 
 

Araria, Bihar / Islampur, West Bengal, January 23 : Lokshakti Abhiyan's third phase campaigning on the questions of rights of communities over natural resources, growing inequality in society and decentralised democracy began with two big public rallies of NREGA workers trade union and Adivasis.

In morning, Jan Jagran Abhiyan Sangathan (JJAS), a trade union of NREGA workers took out a huge rally in Araria which attended by the workers from katihar and Araria. JJAS has been working in the area since 2008 and has worked pro-actively for the rights of the workers, rooting out corruption and brining transparency in the system. Araria town was painted red with the colours of the workers who shouted, har haath ko kaam do, kaam ka poora dam do (Give Work to Everyone, Full Pay for the Work Done); Duniya ke Majdooron ek ho, ek ho (Workers of the World Unite) Workers narrated the fact that inspite of all the claims of development of the Bihar Government, they never received their wages on time, and many a times their due wages 144 Rs a day is not paid to them. There is large scale corruption in the schemes but even then Nitish ji on his Seva yatra, what is this kind of Seva (Service) ? Kamayani Swami and Ashish Ranjan members of the JJAS addressing the meeting narrated their experience of the social audits and the amoutn of effort it took them to register a trade union of NREGA workers. JJAS has 5,000 members at the moment and hope to grow leaps and bounds in years to come.  

The meeting was addressed by J P Singh, NAPM UP spokesperson; Rajendra Ravi and madhuresh Kumar, NAPM National Organisers from Delhi; Roshan Lal Agarwal from Raipur, Chattisgarh and was attended by Pushpraj, writer from Delhi, Amar Misra, Ashu Chauhan and Arjun Singh from NAPM Delhi and Thakur Devendra and Ashok Purusarthi from India Against Corruption – Delhi. Medha Patkar, National Convenre, NAPM could not make to the meeting due to delay in travel but addressed the meeting on phone.

Later in the evening Lokshakti Abhiyan reached Islampur in North Dinajpur District, West Bengal and attended the concluding session of the two day annual conference of Adivasi Jameen Raksha Committee (AJRC) and TASO (Transferred Area Surjapur Organisation). AJRC-TASO have been active in the region for a long time and is working to restore the adivasi land illegally transferred to the tea gardens big and small. Very recently on January 16, 2012 after two rounds of investigation on August 24 and September 21 2011, the SDO, Islampur has ordered the restoration of unlawfully occupied land of adivasis by Roopchera Tea Garden to more than 20 families. There are Mundas and Mardis who were allotted land by the Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Department but their land has been illegally occupied including Duncans and man other bigger companies. AJRC-TASO conference celebrated their victory and vowed to carry forward the struggle.

At the end of the meeting Adivasis lashed with their traditional weapons and lighting torches took out a Mashaal Rally through out the town of Islampur. They shouted slogans demanding restoration of land but also threatened that jo jameen sarkaari hai who jameen hamari hai (All the Government Land is Our Land). They also called for chai nahi chawal chahiye (We Want Rice not Tea);  Pepsi Nahi Pani Chahiye (We want Water not Pepsi). Pasharul Alam, leader of TASO-AJRC said that the patience of the Adivasis was running out if government doesn't act in the interest of  Adivasis then they will have to start occupying the government land as the Adivasis of Narmada Valley has done in Jobat.

Medha Patkar addressing the meeting said, the governments of Bihar and West Bengal have a chance to prove that a development can be achievement with equity and justice to the poorest of the poor who are rich in their natural resources and their labour. If real parivartan (change) is to happen in Bengal then it can only happen if the communities will have the control over their resources or else the inequalities will continue to grow and a handful of capitalists and middle class will reap the benefits of this unmindful destruction of natural resources.

Lokshakti Abhiyan will tomorrow proceed to Forbesganj and Beerpur in Koshi region.

For details contact : Madhuresh 9818905316   

 

Hyderabad, January 10 : Lokshakti Abhiyan's second phase of meetings and mass contact programme began from Hyderabad yesterday with the members of movements associated with NAPM from states of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Orissa and members of India Against other from Hyderabad.        

After a brief press meeting at NAPM Hyderabad office the Abhiyan moved to Gadvel mandal villages of Medak district to interact with families of farmers who have committed suicides. It was heartrending for us to listen to the cries of the young widows whose husbands committed suicide for debts of one, two or in some cases five to ten lakhs of rupees. Each one of them had the same story of crop failure, cotton and corn. Killer hybrid corns and cottons are home delivered to them by the nexus of the seed distributors and seed companies who have made farmers completely dependent on them after taking over their indigenous seeds.

Medha Patkar, addressing a public meeting at Sirigiripalli village, Medak district said that, it is not the crop failure but the failure of agricultural policies  and indicator of deep agrarian crisis which is leading to the suicides among the farmers of India. In the past 16 years (1995-2010), 256,913 farmers have committed suicide across India as per the government statistics from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). In 2010, there were 15,964 farmer suicides and the state-wise distribution shows that Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh stand out with 3141, 2585 and 2525, followed by Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Kerala. In 2011, has continued. In A.P., newspaper reports showed 95 suicides in 1 month in just 6 districts – Mahbubnagar, Anantpur, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Medak, Khammam.

It was also extremely unfortunate that the local administration has completely failed to respond to these tragedies in farmers families and a small survey suggested that out of 1096 suicides only 323 families have revived an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh and 50 thousand rupees for debt repayment. It's shameful and shows insensitivity of the governance. Abhiyan urged the local Panchayat and Gram Sabhas to take the lead and collect money to provide immediate relief to such families and then pressurise the local government to provide relief to the affected family. But more important farmers have to shift to organic farming and get back to the traditional farming over few years otherwise this nexus of seed corporations and private lenders will continue to kill them.

On January 10, the Abhiyan reached Roundhead station and received a early morning welcome from  Kakinada Anti SEZ movement there, and later moved on to Amalapuram town, one of the richest regions of the Andhra Pradesh. Abhiyan visited a number of villages in East Godavari district where the livelihoods of thousands of farmers are being destroyed due to the salt water ingress and sinking of the Godavari Delta in East and West Godavari Districts due to the rampant, extraction of Oil and Natural Gas, which is enriching large corporations like Reliance, while destroying the lives of the farmers, fisherfolk, salt workers and artisans.

Prafulla Samantara, National Convener NAPM said that Reliance is looting the rich natural resources of the KG basin which has the most fertile land and is the rice bowl of the AP. It is extremely unfortunate that even after gross violations found in the CAG report submitted in September 2011 no action has been taken against Reliance. In its interim report as well that CAG had said that Reliance is not cooperating with the audit process and there are large scale economic and environmental violations, then what is preventing the Government of AP and India to take action against the company. Like Orissa where POSCO, Vedanta, Jindal and others are looting these companies are completely uprooting the civilisations and destroying the livelihoods.

P Chenniah, National Convener NAPM, said that farmers fight will now have to join hands with the farm workers, tenant farmers and even the academics and intellectuals then only our struggle will succeed against these corporations. We have to fight not only against corruption in governance but against these corporations who are corrupting everything and destroying our livelihoods and civilisations.

Abhiyan lent solidarity to the struggling farmers who hosted meetings at Enkotapalli and Gollavilli in Uppalaguptam Mandal and vowed to carry forward the struggle against companies like Reliance at different places. Abhiyan proceed to town of Narsapur where at YN College Sarvodaya Rythu Sangam hosted a seminar on protection of Krishna – Godavari Delta area.

More we travel around the countryside and devstation Abhiyan witnesses our resolve to fight against the multinational corporations and their naked loot of our natural resources gets strengthened. Our sturggles have to collectively push for establishing communities control over natural resources and that is the only way to save our future.

Ramakrsihna Raju, Sarasvathy Kavula, Madhuresh Kumar

For details call : 9866887299 / 9849718364 / 9818905316 

Lokshakti Abhiyan Full Scedule of events

The programme for December:

  • 20 :  Varanasi (Mr. Nandlaal : 9415300520) Azamagarh(Rajeev Yadav 9452800752)
  • 21 :  Amethi (Sanjay Singh 9044272073),Rae Bareli, (Gaurav Awasthi 94150340340)
  • 22 :  Muradabad (Rakesh Rafik 9456202211, Prem  9412839020)
  • 24 :  Palwal (Subhash Bhargav 9813801437)
  • 25 :  Muzaffarnagar (ManishGupta 9837144590, Mukhi Yadav 9997619284)
  • 26 :  Aligarh (Namita Singh 9412272762)

January4 to 11 South India (Ramkrishna Raju 09866887299) |12 Multai, Madhya Pradesh, (Sunilam9425109770), 13 Indore |23-29 Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh (Kamayani 9771950248, Gautam Bandopadhyay 9826171304). February 6 – 15 Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh (Suniti 9423571784)

We urge all movements, organisations and individuals to join us in the campaign to make a better country. Be a Volunteer and also help through donations. Spread the word... 

 

Hindi Documents: Statement Programme

 

 Photographs from Lokshakti Abhiyan

Click on the image below to view all images from Lokshakti Abhiyan:

 

National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai - 400 014;
Ph: 022-24150529
 
Delhi Office: 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
 
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