Protests Held In Hyderabad and Chennai in Support of Andolan
Women at the Forefront of the Struggle Against Buildershahi in Mumbai
Medha Patkar’s Health Deteriorates but Stable on 6th Day of Indefinite Fast
April 9, 2013, Mumbai : Responding to various complaints from across the country on the issue of demolitions and ongoing indefinite fast by Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar, National Human Rights Commission issued notices to the Chief Secretary and DGP Maharashtra calling for their response on the issues within two weeks.
Today was the 6th day of Indefinite Fast by Medha Patkar at Golibar, Mumbai. Despite growing signs of weakness and deteriorating health like vomiting, body ache, back ache, she refused check up by Government doctors. Madhuri Shivkar, who joined her on April 6th, is normal and in good spirits. Anand Patwardhan, Film Maker; Chandrashekhar, Architect, Suniti S R, NAPM visited the site today and extended their solidarity to the Andolan. Justice (Retd) Rajender Sachar, also lent his support to the struggle and spoke to the Chief Minister’s Office and urged them to start the process of dialogue, for something which is extremely genuine. Many people from the basti are joining the relay fast every day. This is not the story of Golibar only; Slum dwellers from various slums in Mumbai are coming and joining the fast at Golibar.
Women of the Bastis have been at the forefront of the struggle since beginning, be it facing the bulldozers or carrying forward with the life in extreme diversity, when the homes are broken and children have their exams. They have been coming out in support in big numbers everyday, taking to street, cooking collectively on the site for everyone, shouting slogans and lending strength to Andolan everywhere. Anwari, Nasreen, Mamta Dalvi, Rajashri Thakur, Suhasini Mesti and many others have bore the burnt of their houses being demolsihed but have continued their struggle with a dream of roof over their head. It is not only Medha Patkar and madhuri Shivkar who are putting their life at stake but they all have put their life at stake to save their homes and claim right over the land, where their houses stand.
Reeling under pressure from the builder lobby, the government has chosen not to get into dialogue with the Andolan yet. However, the support from across the country is growing everyday. Demonstrations, protests were held today in support of the struggle in Hyderabad, where activists from different organisations joined the demonstration. In Chennai too Unorganised Workers federation, Coastal People’s Protection Movement, National Alliance of People’s Movements and others held a demonstration in Chennai against the impending evictions of nearly 2 lakh people in name of slum development projects in Chennai and also lent their support to the ongoing struggle in Mumbai. Geetha Ramakrishnan, UWF, said, “struggle for the housing rights across the country for the working class is same, be it is Chennai or Mumbai. Projects in the name of slum development are being brought in to grab the land by rich and powerful in cities. We will struggle for every inch of land, which we have developed over the years with our sweat and hard work.” Tomorrow a citizens demonstration is to be held in Delhi at Maharashtra Sadan against Maharashtra government’s inaction and in solidarity with the struggle of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan.
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