Medha Patkar’s condition worsens

UNI – Wednesday, April 05, 2006 17:06 IST
NEW DELHI: The condition of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar worsened further on Wednesday as she had a bout of vomitting even as some writers joined the demonstration at Jantar Mantar to express their solidarity with her.
Patkar is on an indefinite fast in the national capital. She has been against the Narmada Control Authority’s proposal to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam from 110.64 metres to 122 metres. She has also been demanding complete rehabilitation of the affected families.
Patkar refused to break her fast on Tuesday when Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz met her even as he assured her that he will visit the dam site.
On Monday, Patkar rejected a glass of fruit juice Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent to her saying she will not compromise as people are being uprooted for a dam in Narmada Valley.
In an effort to make the NBA leader and her two associates give up their fast, the Prime Minister had sent Minister of State in his office Prithviraj Chavan, Social Justice and
Empowerment Minister Meira Kumar and Soz to Jantar Mantar on Monday.
Patkar on Wednesday received a stream of visitors including former Prime Minister V P Singh. Also, several noted writers joined her and sat on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar to support NBA’s cause.
CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat and Central Committee member Subhashini Ali visited Patkar at the dharna site earlier this week.
CPI leaders A B Bardhan and D Raja, writers, artistes, students and other civil society groups have also visited Patkar. Booker Prize-winning author and anti-dam activist Arundhati Roy, women’s activist Mohini Giri, socialist leaders Surendra Mohan and
Manju Mohan and ultra Left wing leader Kumudini Pati have already been sitting on a dharna for last few days to express solidarity with Patkar.
NBA activists have been staging protests here since March 17 against the decision of the Narmada Control Authority to raise the height of the dam. It says nearly 35,000 families will lose their source of livelihood and homes due to submergence in the dam’s waters once the decision is implemented.
Patkar, Jamsing Nargave and Bhagwatibai Jatpuria (affected villagers from Madhya Pradesh) started an indefinite fast on March 29 on failing to get a promised response to their demands from the Prime Minister.
The NBA says the Sardar Sarovar Project has uprooted communities living in the Narmada Valley for the past many centuries. It has also become financially unviable and corruption-ridden, it added.

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