Monday, November 28, 2005

People's Carvan Against WTO in Tarai of UP,India


25th November 2005, Aurahwa Musahar hamlet

# The Cyclists ready for Jan Carvan at Aurahwa near Indo-Nepal Border

Amidst chanting slogans, and lots of enthusiasm, on 25th November- special day against violence against women, Aurahwa Musahar hamlet at Indo-Nepal border in Nichlaul block of Mahrajganj district witnessed the peoples launch of Jan Carvan in Tarai (II) region. With more than 200 men and women present, Bhuwari Devi (A rape victim who fought tooth and nail last year to see finally the culprit sentenced to jail and compensation from government) flagged off the Cyclists in the Cycle Yatra. These cycle riders who would traverse through parts of Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria and Gorakhpur; covering around a distance of 250 KM would arrive finally at historic place Chauri-Chaura. Along the way, the Jan Carvan in the form of Jan Carvan would closely interact with poor communities, peasants and farmers, daily wage labourers, panchayat functionaries, students and other segments of civil society discussing and raising local issues. It would also through public/street corner meetings, street plays, folk dance performance, interface with panchayat and district authorities, mass rally and demonstrations discuss and raise the people’s awareness on impact of WTO/WB policies on poor people’s livelihood, access to natural resources, community decision making and the likes. An interface with District Magistrate Kushinagar in Bheri Jungle on 26 Nov., a mass rally and sit-in at Padrauna district headquarter on 27 Nov., a nukkad natak and folk art exhibition at Deoria district head quarter 2 dec., and WTO/WB/IMF effigy burning and a press conference at Golghar, Gorakhpur on 2 December are other highlights of the Jan Carvan.

# Awadhraj addresses the Sit-in at Nichlaul Tehsil

At the launch of Jan Carvan the CPI (ML) activist Mr. Harish said that feudal and elite forces in beauracracy, state judiciary and media are the main hurdles of land reforms in UP. And now UP Zamindari Abolition Act, 1950 and the Land Ceiling Act 1970 are being modified by the government to suit the interests of private companies in the state. While Kaushilya termed Jan Carvan an opportunity to make our voice heard at highest level at once.

The Cycle Yatra converted into a sit- in demonstration at Nichlaul tehsil office. Addressing the gathering Mr. Gajendra, a lawyer criticized the UPDASP approach of farming and stressed the need for an eco -friendly, people centric and sustainable agriculture policies and practice in UP. Mr. Nilay Upadhyaya of People Forum attacked the flawed banking and credit policies and said it is increasing poor people indebtedness. He also appealed every one to discourage the local informal credit system in the area. Awadhraj, Musahar Vikas Pahal Samiti representative said that PHCs and CHCs are almost always running out of necessary medicines and high cost of medicines at private stores makes it impossible for poor to save his/her ailing family member. He said it was most ironical to see that poor people’s children died of Japanese Encephalitis due to lack of medicines. Musahar Manch representative Srikant highlighted the pathetic state of primary education in Mahrajganj. Likewise Udassi, Bhikhari, Basmati, Methailal, spoke and expressed their resentment on the current affairs of development. One by one they highlighted the issues of food, hunger and livelihood, recurring floods, minimum wage and fair wage, use of compine harvesting machines, violence on women, high cost of seeds and their unavailability in the area and migration and related hazards. It was collectively shared that 3 December wont end the Jan Carvan in Chari-Chaura but rather would mark a beginning of an ongoing process of constant struggle against the imperialist policies of developed nation. Finally a Memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister of UP was handed over to Tehsildar Nichlaul and Carvan proceeded for Charbharia village for Ratri Jagran Shivir with chanting slogans “Bhookh Nahi Kaam Chahiye” and “Bajar Nahi Khet Chahiye”….

Representatives of Musahar Manch, Laghu Simant Krishak Morcha, Right To Food Campaign UP, Bhartiya Kisan Union, Peoples Union for Human Rights, Naujawan Bharta Sabha, CPI (ML), Musahar Vikas Pahal Samiti, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Gramodhyog Sewa Samiti, People Forum, PGSS, SEEDs, and Shaswat were present at the launch and daylong demonstrations of Jan Carvan

26 October, 2005

Chitauni Bridge, Bheri Jungle and Padrauna in Kushinagar District

The Gram Panchayat of Charbharia passes a resolution against WTO policies. Addressed to Prime Minister the resolution by local panchayat says that farmers, weavers and artisan’s livelihoods are in danger hence there must not be any agreement on these three areas at Hong Kong Ministerial meeting. Now from Charbharia village the Carvan has started off for Bheri Jungle. En route the Carvan addressed three public meetings at Jehda, Katahri and Siswa.

At 01 O’clock, nearly 20 people welcomed the Cycle Yatris. The Carvan headed straight for Bheri Jungle Musahar hamlet where District Magistrate of Kushinagar Mr. Prabhu Dayal Srinivas is arrived for an interface. A good an hour interaction with DM took place. Radheshyam and Tettunia Devi raised the issues of distribution of Ceiling Land to landless. Chandrika and kaushilya proposed to start a collective fishery enterprise if the large piece of water logged land (the same has become a sort of pond) is granted permission for. Omprakash and Chanjyoti demanded Indira Awas for deseving poor people in the village. The DM said now its time to act. He asked the MVPS volunteers to come prepare with concrete proposals in the office for further action. He assured that if Musahars were willing there would be no dearth of work. Before that Vibhuti Chauhan and Srikant from MVPS spoke about the Jan Carvan.

In the evening the Carvan headed for Narayanpur Village, where they found a waiting Pradhan Mr. Ramesnsingh Chauhan with garlands and other villagers. After quick refreshment there were song and dance sequels before a meeting with panchayat members. Tomorrow the Jan Cravan will stage a rally at district headquarter Padrauna.

Report from

MVP and MVPS, Kushinagar

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