Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The costs of the struggle ... madness, loss,

This was during 1990s - when the struggle of NBA, against the dam on Narmada was its peak. We had come to Delhi with the people for a dharna ... and the desperate villagers hoped that here at least they would get a hearing from the powers that be. They were being hounded out of their homes for the dam ...

This was when one young man of 20 from the village , unable to cope with the tension of years and with the trauma of knowing that his family would be homeless soon, lost his mind. He just cracked up and ran away - and was never found again. Everyone spent the next two days searching every hospital for him and drew a blank. Those who scoured the hospitals were down with fever after two days of running around in the hot Delhi sun. That tribal family returned back without the head of the family.

This is just one of the stories behind one of the dams of our country. Innumerable families have lost home and hearth. Compensation has been denied time and again. Land for land compensation, when given, has often been in the form of barren rocky uncultivable land. Tribal communities which exist on mutual co-operation have been scattered across different resettlement sites and social problems have ensued. Whole tracts of villages have vanished without a sign ...

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