Narmada Aur Kisani Bachao Jung entered into second day

Yatra heads towards Mau and Peethampur from Anjad, Dawana, Madwana, Dhamnod and Gujri

Systemic Corruption paralysing the legal struggle of evictees


Government is doing rounds of the River, ignoring Corruption, Injustice, Sand Mining, and Rehabilitation issues

30 May 2018, Dhamnod, Madhya Pradesh: The ‘Narmada Aur Kisani Bachao Jung’ started from Badwani have reached Anjad, where the marching adivasis, farmers and labourers are welcomed by local elected representatives of the village. Purshottam Bhai and Mayor Shrimati Patni’s husband Shri Shekhar Patni Ji told the gathering that farmers have the power to shake the government. They said the municipal corporation and the residents of the town stand in solidarity with the farmers of Narmada valley.

At the public meeting in Dawana, senior farmers, leaders of trade organizations and educational institutions invited the leaders of the Narmada Bachao Andolan to speak about the farmer’s issues. The protesters heard how farmers of Dawana still waiting to receive land for resettlement and could not get legal help due to widespread corruption. It was said that the Andolan had provided legal help and ensured the locals benefitted from the rehabilitation policy.

Farmers from villages such as Marwana and Dawana signed memorandum demanding complete freedom from debt, remunerative prices for agri-produce and protection of Narmada River and expressed their solidarity to continue the Jung. The locals of Thikri and Khalghat participated enthusiastically and welcomes the Yatris with warm hospitality. In Thikri, former head of the village Shri Champalal Patel and others reiterated the importance of upholding farmers’ rights and remarked that since the local farmers are dependent on the Narmada’s waters for irrigation, plans to divert it towards industries and cities through various link projects is a grave threat to their life and livelihood.

With anger, Shyama Machhuara challenged the Madhya Pradesh government, saying that contractualization of reservoirs build on the Narmada is a grave injustice to the fishermen. She affirmed that protesters would not allow this exploitation of Sardar Sarovar reservoir by Govt or Corporates. Suresh Patidar revealed how those who have been displaced with the promise of rehabilitation were given land only after a protracted legal battle.

Medha Patkar addressed the residents of Thikri and told that there are so many towns like Thikri on the banks of the Narmada which have been neglected to favour the big cities. The Madhya Pradesh government is trying to turn the Narmada into another Yamuna. River link projects like Narmada-Kshipra and Narmada-Kalisindh are receiving huge amounts of the river water. 15000 litres per second are being given to large and small industries of Bharuch. The only question left now is how long the Narmada can survive if exploited like this.

On the second day of “Narmada Aur Kisani Bachao Jung”, farmers living downstream of the dam along with a large number of fisher people from Bharuch joined the march. The day began with songs and sloganeering on the banks of the Narmada at Khalghat, followed by Narmada Pooja (Worship of River Narmada) which kicked off a large rally. The rally reached Dhamnod where a public meeting was held, anticipating the rest of the march.

Hiral Bhai from Gujarat gave a speech about the worsening conditions of the fisher people of Bharuch. He said their livelihoods are under threat due to the drying of the river, so the number of fisher people in Bharuch is reducing rapidly. Further, the sea water has flowed into the river, causing death of the fishes on which they are dependent for their life and livelihoods. Along with the Narmada, an entire culture is on the brink of extinction. Agriculture has also been impacted. The people have repeatedly appealed to the government for aid, but to no avail-the government refuses to give answers to difficult questions. Thus, it is now imperative that we all come and fight together.

Advocate Kamlesh said that the 32 years of struggle in the Narmada valley has inspired the people of Bharuch to keep up their fight since last 10 years. The river, fish and fisher people living downstream of the dam in Gujarat are all being destroyed.

Chetan Bhai from Maharashtra said that the people of that state have gained immensely from the struggle of Narmada Bachao Andolan. Every person affected by the dam have received 5 acres of land. He said we should view this Narmada Aur Kisani Bachao Jung similarly and take our struggles forward with resolve and perseverance.

Vallabh Bhai, the retired head of the farmers union of Dhamnod, said that farmers are the backbone of this nation which the government is trying to break. Farmers do not get remunerative prices for their agri-produce. Every day, at least 5 farmers are committing suicide in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Before the farmers can try to raise their voice, they are crushed under the heel the establishment.

Vijay Ji, a lawyer from Dhar, explained the distinction between fighting for one’s rights and having blind belief. The farmers are fighting for their rights and the government is fighting for its arrogant beliefs. The reality of ‘cow politics’ of the current government is that only Madhya Pradesh has 50 lakh cows which receive fodder worth 12000 crores. 1200 cows have recently died in a gaushala due to lack of fodder. As he remarked, when someone’s mother has cancer, does one take her to the doctor or light incense sticks in front of her bed? Motherly Narmada is diseased and dry, sand from riverbed is getting illegally mined, so she should be cured rather than constantly sidestepped.

The public meeting concluded with the assembled guests and members of the march observing two minutes of silence in remembrance of the farmers of Madhya Pradesh who have committed suicide.

The march will move from Dhamnod to Gujri, from Gujri to Mahu, and will stop at Pithampur for the night.

Dr. Vinod Yadav, Bhagirath Dhanghar, Rahul Yadav, Kailash Avasya, Himshi Singh, Mukesh Bhagoriya, Devisingh Tomar, Shyama Bhadane

Contact : 9179617513, 9867348307


National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 24374535 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : |

Facebook :

Twitter : @napmindia