Women Celebrate Their Distinct Land Rights Earned In Rehabilitation & Facilitate Centenarian Women
Narmada Oustees Demanding Just Rehabilitation Challenging The Madhya Pradesh Government On Their ‘Game of Numbers’
8th March, 2017: Hundreds of Sardar Sarovar affected Adivasis, Farmers, Fish Workers, Boats men, Artisans Worker filed their application for their livelihood based rehabilitation ensuring justice. Following the Supreme Court Judgment of 8th February 2017, there is a mixed reaction & Mahaul in the valley. No doubt the Madhya Pradesh government is proved to be false having submitted its affidavit claiming no one to be rehabilitated, while 681 farmers are to receive 60 lakh each, the application coming in that will be filed before GRA (Grievance Redressal Authority), claiming eligibility for the same would prove that the number was an underestimate. The number appeared in the Supreme Court since it was mentioned in the last fact sheet submitted by the government of Madhya Pradesh claiming there are only these many families who haven’t accepted full cash package in lieu of land (2 hectares) guaranteed by the Narmada Tribunal Award. This figure, however, has not included those 14,000 families, mostly Adivasis and Dalits, who too didn’t accept any cash and hence had to be allotted land but mostly in Gujarat & Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh having avoided the same, limited to only 53 families against the right granted to thousands in the state. When the Supreme Court has ordered payment of Rs. 60 lakhs to such landholders it has also not deprived those who were duped by officials & agents through Fake Registry Scheme. It is, however, clear that the villages can’t be vacated unless & until all the legally approved civic amenities are ready and in good condition, at the 88 resettlement sites in MP Maharashtra & Gujarat too have to complete the task of R&R in their own state.
As per the Supreme Court directives, Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA) has to now look into and ensure the compliance with Narmada Tribunal Award pertaining to amenities, reddressing the grievances by the dam affected. All together 22 complaints on behalf of 30 villages pertaining to the same number of R&R sites are filed by the villagers, today, which indicate the deteriorated condition of and absence of many amenities at the sites which are not even livable as on today. Vacating the villages by 31st of July this monsoon can only happen if GRA orders and the honest work by NVDA without corruption (that had earlier led to sacking of 40 engineer officials before)can resolve all the problem carrying out works on hundreds of structures on hundreds of hectares of resettlement land. Will this be done?
Will hundreds of landless be provided with alternative livelihood through a special fund and a agency chalked out in the Action plan 1993?
Will the Apex. Court, in every case related to every development project, seek true facts and information about the overall situation related to displacement & the input on Lakhs of people with the women at the forefront, whether Farmer or a Fisherwoman? NBA, after 31 years of struggle, is still raising very basic question related to development and justice that frequently is denied to the landless, dalits, toiling women as well as hilly Adivasis and farming or natural resource based communities. Through our fight on the ground and in the courts , in Sardar Sarovar Project all the landholders, their names on the land titles – including the minors and widows or otherwise just land holders – are to receive right to two hectares of alternative land if the family is losing more than 25% of its landholding.
The struggle by Narmada Oustees continues seeking rights for the landless and all who are left out, whether due to fraudulent surveys or corrupt practices and policies.
Women from various villages on the bank of the river hold celebration of the international Women’s Day, at the Satyagraha site in Badwani today.
It’s the women who suffer the most due to displacement, losing her nearest source of livelihood and the life support system full of resources around her family & serve them with in an appropriate form. If about 45000 families or large number of those in the Narmada Valley get affected this monsoon, and their farms or fish or any occupation loses income, these families surely would face hell. The women & children too are a part of the struggle since last more than three decades.
Women at Satyagraha Shivir in Badwani, felicitated two centurarion women who have crossed a century Baniben & Devkorbai of village Avali.
Kamla Yadav appealed to women “to join hands together, especially women to stop practices of female feoiticide which is quite rampant in our state”.
Laanu, a social worker spoke about the importance of the women’s Day and motivated the women to fight for rights. While addressing the masses she said, we all are equal in this world, hence we should never permit discrimination against women. Laanu considered education of girls and women as an integral part of efforts for the emancipation of women; believing education will bring in change for certain.
Shanta Bhai, who hail from Pipri village urged Madhya Pradesh government to respect women, she further said, “aj Narmada ko talab banana ki kaushis jari hai”. This will certainly bring about disaster beyond imagination. Women will not tolerate this, we warn.
While addressing the Satyagrahis on the eve of Women’s Day, Medha Patkar said, it was the women in Mahabharata, who were seen as rivers. If conversation between Shiva and his wife refers to women as river flow or flow of life which is feminine, we must ally with mother rivers & save those, Uma had told Shiva,”Woman follows woman”. Narmada Movement with one and all women fighting for every house plot, every right as also against Liquor symbolizes the same.
Narmadas women remembered and expressed solidarity with women fighting against repression in different parts of the country today. Soni Sori & Bela Bhatia in Bastar, Vimalakka in Telangana, women from Mumbai slums and in Pacheri of Rajasthan, fighting usher mafia in Katni & Chindwara, in Areria, Bihar, in Raichur & Aland, Karnataka, and other places. She explained how it’s only in Sardar Sarovar that all women with share/name in the land title, has sought and got right to alternative land livelihood and all benefits.
Rahul Yadav, Mukesh Bhagoriya, Kamla Yadav, Medha Patkar