Wellknown social activist takes part in public interaction in City college
Today’s development paradigm is based on industrialisation and urbanisation. People don’t mind killing a living community to set up an industry, opined wellknown Social Activist Medha Patkar at a public-interaction programme organised at Roshni Nilaya in Mangalore on Tuesday.
Today one capital takes over another capital. Huge profits are made but the percentage given to the poor as compensation is very less. The agriculture and human resource capital is not considered. The people who shed their sweat and blood are called as backward just because they are living with the minimal resources so that others can utilise them. People call them poor and try to grab their property away, she said.
With Special Economic Zones peaking high, the people who are in-charge of SEZs are called as developers and local communities are called as encroachers. “We are not against development, but there is a need to oppose corporate industrialisation,” she said and added that the right to land and natural resources should be given to the local communities first.
Out of the 81 SEZs which were supposed to come, 34 have already been established. However, huge SEZs like Nandigrama, Kakinada have stopped due to the protest by the people, she said.
Coming down heavily on inequity, Patkar pointed out that there is no equal concentration of wealth.
When rich are becoming richer, there are farmers who commit suicide as they cannot pay back a loan of Rs 10,000.
There is a need to limit the difference in income between organised and unorganised labour, the disparity between the value of produce that comes from natural resources and high price for the products one gets from industries should be reduced, the minimum wage should be fixed at Rs 350 a day in cities and Rs 250 in villages. There is a need to have a line of richness, where people who have excess can be taxed heavily and the excess has to be considered as common wealth, she said.
The target of the government was to produce 8 lakh mega watt power by 2032. As much as 60 per cent of this power will be generated by the thermal power plants. However, in 2012 there are proposals to produce 7 lakh mega watt power.
Today, one is exchanging natural resources for money without thinking about the adversities, she said.
She also stated that she is against the interlinking of the rivers. These kind of gigantic projects need money. However, when corporates come forward to help they shall ask for their share. Every river basin is important and has to be used for the benefit of the people, she said.
She also clarified, that she has not been getting any foreign funds. “We have not even touched the foreign award,” she said.
T R Bhat from Karavali Karnataka Jana Abhivradhi Vedike said that justice has to be given to all the Kudubi families who are displaced due to MSEZ. A protest will be held at the global investors meet which will be held in Bangalore in the month of June, he warned.
‘Rashtriya Jan Sansad’
Social Activist Medha Patkar has thrown an open invitation to people to be a part of Member of People’s Parliament (MPP) and participate in the deliberations of the Rashtriya Jan Sansad to be held in Delhi from March 19 to 23. The Jan Sansad is hosted by National Alliance of People’s Movements.
On March 19, MPP will hold meetings on Delhi specific issues in Delhi and meet Delhi based activists and organisations. From March 20 to 22, a Jan Sansad will be held on various issues such as communities control over land and natural resources, inequity, electoral politics and people-electoral reforms and Corruption- wider perspectives and challenges. The Jan Sansad will be held at Rajendra Bhawan, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, New Delhi.
On March 23, a mass rally of people coming from across the country, finalisation and adoption of Jan Sansad Resolution among thousands (a session with political party representatives) and march to the parliament will be held.
For details, contact 011-2437 4535, 9818905316 or firstname.lastname@example.org