03 March, 2021

‘It’s A Tough Road To The Manzil’

Social acrtivist Medha Patkar has been at it for 30 years with Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), protesting against large dams such as Sardar Sarovar on the river and demanding justice for the displaced.She talks to Outlook about the tougher challenges ahead...

Photograph by Vijay Pandey
‘It’s A Tough Road To The Manzil’
outlookindia.com
2017-08-12T13:35:34+05:30

It’s quite late in the evening by Nashik standards, past 9 pm. The gathering at Hutatma Smarak has waited patiently for Medha Patkar and is now agog as she starts speaking. She, visibly tired, fires off right away—a short recap of the latest agitation along with facts and figures, follow-­­up action with background, historical context of the issues. She then asks for suggestions and support from those present. Her days and nights are busy—public meetings, court cases, agitations, discussions with supporters and workers, appointments with officials. Patkar has been at it for 30 years with Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), protesting against large dams such as Sardar Sarovar on the river and demanding justice for the displaced. In the past few years, she has also been pleading cases on her own. Besides the NBA, she has also led movements elsewhere—for example, against constructions at Lavasa, the “private, planned city” being built near Pune, and against slum demolitions in Mumbai. She has skipped dinner tonight in Nashik...

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