Uttar Pradesh forms spl court for all health scams #MUSTSHARE


 

English: National Rural Health Mission of India

English: National Rural Health Mission of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Neeraj Chauhan | TNN

New Delhi:Criticized for tardy probe progress coupled with acute shortage of officers to investigate cases, the CBI got a relief in National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam investigations as the Uttar Pradesh government has constituted a special court for all the health scheme fraud cases.

 

The UP government issued anotification on August 28, constituting a special court especially for NRHM cases in Ghaziabad. The court of Session Judge Shyam Lal, where the Aarushi-Hemraj murder trial is going on, has been designated as the NRHM court. CBI has registered 18 cases so far in the Rs 5,700-crore NRHM scam that has been unearthed in various districts of the state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anybody ill here and seen a doctor yet?


 

KRISHNA D. RAO,  The Hindu

 
GLOOMY PROGNOSIS: For the hardship that rural doctors have to endure, government service offers relatively little in terms of quality of life. Photo: Singam Venkataramana
The Hindu
GLOOMY PROGNOSIS: For the hardship that rural doctors have to endure, government service offers relatively little in terms of quality of life. Photo: Singam Venkataramana

Addressing the scarcity of medical practitioners in rural India is fundamental to achieving universal health care in the country

The Planning Commission’s draft 12th Plan for health has attracted much debate and controversy. Critics have been quick to direct their attention at two issues in it — the proposed increase in government health spending from one per cent to 1.58 per cent of GDP, and the “managed care model.” The spending increase was rightly felt to be grossly inadequate to move India towards achieving universal health care. The “managed care” model was expected to relegate the government’s role to a purchaser of services and undermine its role in the service provision. By focusing on these two issues, the debate on the 12th Plan for health, and indeed the Plan’s approach paper itself, ignores some of the more fundamental obstacles to achieving universal health care in India. For one, the scarcity of rural doctors currently prevents the delivery of even basic clinical services to needy citizens. Simply spending more or changing the way health services are purchased will not solve this problem.

Urban-rural divide

People deliver health services. Urban Indians can be forgiven for thinking that there are enough doctors in the country. Indeed, our cities are abundant with all manner of clinics, diagnostic centres and hospitals. But having a qualified doctor nearby is a rarity for the vast majority of Indians who inhabit the country’s rural spaces. According to the 2001 Census, there is a tenfold difference in the availability of qualified doctors between urban and rural areas i.e. one qualified doctor per 8,333 (885) people in rural (urban) areas of India. Addressing this rural scarcity is fundamental to efforts for achieving universal health care in India.

There are several notable reasons why doctors are reluctant to serve in rural areas. Fundamentally, the professional and personal expectation of medical graduates is not compatible with the life of a rural doctor. Their ambition lies in becoming medical specialists. Once they specialise, the professional, income, lifestyle, and family life opportunities in cities make rural jobs unattractive. Moreover, with private medical schools and their high fees dominating medical education, it makes little sense for medical graduates to take up jobs that don’t offer them the opportunity to recover their investment.

The scarcity of rural doctors places an important responsibility on the government. However, its efforts to place government doctors in rural posts have been largely unsuccessful. For the hardship that rural doctors have to endure, government service offers relatively little in terms of remuneration, quality schooling for their children and a chance at a decent family life. Human resources in the State health services are also poorly managed.

For instance, there is little transparency about transfers and postings because they are a source of both corruption and political patronage in the health system. Absenteeism is another issue. Indeed, most of the court cases facing State health departments have to do with human resource issues. However, given the professional and personal expectations of doctors, it appears unlikely that large increases in salaries and management changes will attract adequate numbers to government jobs and rural posts.

Situation abroad

Interestingly, many high, middle, and low-income countries also face a scarcity of rural doctors. Many of them have ameliorated this problem by using non-physician clinicians to deliver basic health services. In the United States, the United Kingdom, many countries in Africa, and even in South Asia, individuals such as nurse-practitioners or medical assistants, who have some years of basic clinical training, perform many of the clinical functions normally expected of fully qualified doctors. In sub-Saharan Africa and many parts of Asia, clinical services in rural areas are possible only because of these non-physician clinicians. They provide a range of clinical functions, including basic clinical services, manage deliveries, caesarean sections and abortions. Importantly, assessments from a variety of settings have shown that they perform as well as doctors.

Clinician cadre

India, however, has had an uneasy relationship with mid-level clinical cadres. At the time of India’s independence, licentiate medical practitioner (LMP)s, who underwent three years training, comprised nearly two-thirds of the qualified medical practitioners (the other one-third being doctors) and they mostly served in rural areas. LMPs were abolished after Independence but doctors never really occupied the space that LMPs vacated. Now, the shortage of rural doctors has forced some States to look towards non-physician clinicians for relief. Clinicians with around three years of clinical training currently serve at government rural health clinics in Chhattisgarh and Assam. Importantly, assessments of their performance in Chhattisgarh have shown them to be as competent as doctors for delivering basic clinical care. And because their training focuses on serving as rural clinicians and their career ambition is to have a government job, these clinicians, as the Chhattisgarh experience shows, have a greater likelihood of staying and serving in rural areas. The Central Health Ministry has proposed to expand this clinician cadre nationally through the Bachelors of Rural Health Care (BRHC) course. Unfortunately, expanding this cadre has met with considerable opposition and a former health minister even labelled them as “qualified quacks.”

The road to universal health care in India necessarily requires a serious assessment of basic problems that afflict the health system like the lack of human resources in rural areas. While this piece has focused on doctors, the rural scarcity of other health worker cadres such as nurses, lab technicians and pharmacists is equally acute and equally deserving of serious attention.

Higher government spending on health or how health services are purchased will do little to ensure that all Indians have health care if there are inadequate numbers of trained health workers with the right skill mix. The experience of other countries and two States in India show that non-physician clinicians, whether they are three-year trained clinicians or nurse-practitioners, can be part of the solution.

(Krishna D. Rao is senior health specialist, Public Health Foundation of India, and visiting faculty, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University, U.S. The views expressed are solely his and not of his affiliated institutions.)

 

UPDATE- Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar Dam and jal satyagrah #mustshare


Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh: reduction in water levels of Omkareshwar and Indira sagar dam
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION INTERVENES TO SAVE THE LIVES OF JAL SATYAGRAHIS & RECOMMENDS THE STATE & AUTHORITIES TO REDUCE WATER LEVELS

 
NBA‘S REPRESENTATIVE MEETS THE CHIEF SECRETARY OF THE NARMADA VALLEY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION TO DISCUSS ON THE ISSUES
 
CONCERNED CITIZENS FROM VARIOUS PLACES RAISE THEIR VOICES IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE JAL SATYAGRAHIS
 
JAL SATYAGRAHA CONTINUES FOR THE 7TH DAY AT GHOGHALGAON
 
 
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION INTERVENES TO SAVE THE LIVES OF JAL SATYAGRAHIS & RECOMMENDS THE STATE & AUTHORITIES TO REDUCE WATER LEVELS
A petition was submitted by a representative group regarding the on going Satyagraha in Ghoghalgaon highlighting the fact that water has reached up to the chin level of 51 Oustees who are standing in water for the past 7 days. Thus it was demanded that the water level be reduced to 189 meters in Omkareshwar Dam & 260 meters in Indira Sagar Dam. Observing the seriousness of the situation Acting Commissioner of the State Human Rights Commission, Shri. A.K. Saxena passed an interim order recommending the Chief Secretary, Commissioner of Indore Division & the Collector of Khandwa to reduce the water level in the Dams to save the precious lives of the Oustees.
NBA’S REPRESENTATIVE GROUP MEETS THE CHIEF SECRETARY OF THE NARMADA VALLEY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT TO DISCUSS ON THE ISSUES
 
Under the aegis of Narmada Bachao Andolan a representative group of Oustees affected by Indira Sagar & Omkareshwar Dam met Shri. Rajneesh Vaish, Chief Secretary of the Narmada Valley Development Department. He was informed that the water level is being raised in Omkareshwar & Indira Sagar dams in violation of the orders of Supreme Court because of which, the houses & fields of Oustees are getting submerged without rehabilitation. It was demanded of him that the water level is reduced to 189 meters in Omkareshwar Dam & 260 meters in Indira Sagar Dam. Also, it was demanded that Land for Land and rehabilitation be completed by granting other rights relating to the same. it was also brought to his notice that the Satyagraha is on for the past 7 days in Ghoghalgaon & any further increase in water would lead to death of Satyagrahis. After listening to the group the Chief Secretary instructed the District Authorities & NHDC to resolve the issues at District level. And he would try to resolve the issues at the earliest after consulting the NVDA officials as well as with the Chief Minister’s office.
CONCERNED CITIZENS FROM VARIOUS PLACES RAISE THEIR VOICES IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE JAL SATYAGRAHIS
The Jal Satygraha continues to be strong & sturdy even as it reaches the 7th day. Number of concerned citizens from various places is extending their solidarity to the Satyagrahis. The water has reached till the chin level of the Satyagrahis early in the morning which has become a major issue. Few officials & volunteers of Narmada Bachao Andolan sat to protest against the water level increase outside the collector’s residence early in the morning & demanded an immediate reduction of the water levels to save the lives of the Satyagrahis. State wide protest was held by groups from Bhopal like the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Group, M.P. Mahila Manch, Bhopal Cultural Group, All India Revolutionary Student’s Association, Muskaan etc., & In Indore by groups like All Indian  Women’s Association, Rupankan, Domestic Workers Union, Centre for People’s Development, AITUC, CPI, IPTA, IAC etc.. Some people from the affected villages of District Khargone staged a protest in Mandleshwar at Tehsildar’s office.
PLEASE  SIGN ONLINE PETITION
chief-minister-madhya-pradesh-reduction-in-water-levels-of-omkareshwar-and-indira-sagar-dam
 

INVITATION- Seema Azad and Vishwavijay – speak in JNU on 3rd September


The singer was singing
And they question him
Why do you sing?
He answers them
as they seize him
Because I sing
And they have searched him:
In his breast only his heart
In his heart only his people
In his voice only his sorrow
In his sorrow only his prison
And they have searched his prison
To find only themselves in chains
Mahmoud Darwish

Friends,
As it is well known Seema Azad and Vishwavijay, two civil rights activists,

editor of a well known magazines and literary persons were arrested in
2010, were arrested from Khuldabad, Allahabad. Their ‘crime’ was that
they possessed literature of Bhagat Singh. The state saw them as ‘potential
terrorists’ as threat to the country. They were sentenced for life on charges
of criminal conspiracy, waging war and under several provisions of the
draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
As the Organising Secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in
Uttar Pradesh and editor of the  magazine Dastak Seema had
consistently reported and gave  voice to the growing dissent of the
people against the anti-people  policies of the government in the
form of Ganga Expressway which  brought forth the nexus of the
politicians, bureaucrats and the  land mafia. As we may recall the
Ganga Expressway can result in  the displacement of thousands of
peasantry. It was her initiative to  expose the increasing arbitrary
arrests, torture and incarceration  of Muslim youth in Azamgarh.

The magazine Dastak became a vehicle for expressing the voice of the
voiceless. And this is precisely what the government would want us to
believe as ‘waging war against the state’! And this is why the police officer
would find fault with both of them, for ‘waging war’ with the state, for
reading Bhagat Singh at a time when the state is flaunting a sham ‘growth
rate’, but the material condition of the people are deteriorating every day!
The verdict against Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay w against the grain of
fundamental rights of the people of the subcontinent as it goes a long way
in criminally profiling any political dissent or opinion or even spreading
that as ‘waging war’ against the state. The state would tell us how we
should think and express ourselves. We can be only part of the state in
‘managing’ the perception of the people.

Seema and Vishwavijay were finally granted bail by the Allahabad High
Court this August. Huge public pressure that was mounted on the court by
consistent campaign by civil rights and democratic activists finally forced
the court to grant them bail. Although this is indeed a huge victory for the
democratic movement, it is also a grim reminder that even now thousands
of activists including cultural activists are still being incarcerated after
being framed as ‘terrorists’ or ‘extremists’ just because they dare to raise
their voices against exploitation and oppression of the people. Sudhir
Dhawale, Jeetan Marandi, Deepak Dengle or Utpal Bashke are a few
among the thousands who are languishing in various jails of the country,
charged with the ‘crime’ of being fearless cultural and literary activists who
stood by people’s resistance for land, livelihood and dignity. The fight to
release all these political prisoners must go on. As a part of that effort, we
invite you to this convention, where along with Seema and Vishwavijay
many other well known poets and writers will raise their voice against the
war that has been declared on our
fundamental rights by the Indian state.

उठाने ही होंगे  अभिव्यभि केख़तरे दमन के भख़लाफ़ प्रभतरोध की सस्ं कृभत

Uthane hi honge abhivyakti ke khatre: daman ke khilaf pratirodh ki sanskriti”

Speakers:
Seema Azad
Vishwavijay
Anjani
Manager pandey
Pankaj Bisht
Mangalesh Dabral
Madan Kas

Ranjit Verma
Neelabh Ashq
Anuj Lugun
Kapilesh Bhoj
Prashant Rahi
Vidrohi

3rd of September in SSS Auditorium JNU at 2pm.

Mining giant Vedanta’s AGM under siege over rights abuses


Institutional investors in Vedanta echoed concerns of environmental activists outside
Peter Popham – Independent

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Vedanta Resources, the controversial London-based mining giant accused of serious abuses at its sites in India, came under sustained attack at its AGM yesterday as big institutional investors echoed the complaints of eco-activists demonstrating outside.

Protesters poured red paint on the steps and chanted angry slogans.They included Indians who had travelled from Goa and Tamil Nadu, where Vedanta iron ore and copper mines are blamed for causing toxic floods and other major pollution incidents.

From Zambia came villagers angry that a Vedanta mine there has all but killed off the local river. The issue that united protesters in years past, the company’s plan to mine bauxite on the sacred Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa, is on hold, but complaints from Dongria Kondh villagers in the area, where the company has already built a bauxite refinery,continue to pour in.

The prominent human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger, who visited the area in 2010 and was present at yesterday’s AGM, told The Independent,”The company has a terrible record on human rights and the environmentbut it is so deeply entrenched that it is difficult to change it.”

When Ms Jagger repeated the charges during the meeting, Anil Agarwal,the former scrap metal dealer who founded the firm that has made him a billionaire, denied them and claimed the company took its environmental and human rights responsibilities seriously. Meanwhile the firm fired its own counter-attack over Niyamgiri, in the form of an investigation, published in tandem with the annual report,defending its activities around the Orissa mountains.

But if Vedanta has grown more skilful in containing the assaults of its environmentalist accusers, it could find the displeasure of the
City more difficult to handle.

Representatives of institutional investors Aviva and Standard Life –both holding millions of Vedanta shares – stood up to question company policies including its commitment to sustainability and the appointment of a new non-executive director, Geoffrey Green, with no relevant experience. The non-executive director Naresh Chandra defended the appointment of Mr Green on account of his financial expertise.

Their comments indicate that, after nine years as a FTSE-100 company,Vedanta has entered new and possibly treacherous waters. Earlier this year, the former director general of the CBI, Richard Lambert remarked, “It never occurred to those of us who helped to launch the FTSE-100 index 27 years ago that one day it would be providing a cloak of respectability for companies that challenge the canons of corporate governance such as Vedanta.”

Yesterday, outside the AGM, the Labour MP John McDonnell said the climate for companies such as Vedanta is becoming hostile, however healthy the bottom line. “After the exposure of the misbehaviour of banks that followed the crash, this is the next sector whose ethical practices are going to be looked at,” he told The Independent.”Vedanta is a good example of the problems with mining companies, for their abuse of human rights as well as degradation of the environment.”
A spokesman for Vedanta said: “We take any investor concerns extremelyseriously and sustainability is at the absolute core of what Vedanta does. There has been a significant number of new sustainability policies introduced this year and Vedanta focuses on responsible stewardship, strong relationships and adding value. We expect all our employees to adhere to our sustainability framework. Vedanta development initiatives benefit three million people in areas such as healthcare and infrastructure.”

Nine death penalties wrongly imposed: Ex-judges to President



Manoj Mitta, TNN | A

 

The miscarriage of justice has prompted 14 retired judges of SC and HCs across the country to appeal to President to turn 9 death penalties into life sentence.

NEW DELHI: They are on death row even after the Supreme Court admitted — not once but thrice — that the decisions awarding death sentences had been rendered per incurium (in ignorance). The miscarriage of justice has prompted 14 retired judges of the SC and high courts across the country to appeal to President Pranab Mukherjee to turn the capital punishment imposed on nine persons into life sentence.

Led by former SC judge P B Sawant, the 14 retired judges signed up separate letters to the President pointing out that the death sentences given to these nine persons by various two-judge benches of the SC were “contrary to the binding dictum of rarest of rare” propounded in the 1980 five-judge bench verdict in Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab.

The Bachan Singh prescription of weighing the circumstances relating to “the crime as well as the criminal” before pronouncing a death penalty was disregarded for the first time in 1995 in Ravji Ram Chandra vs State of Rajasthan where a two-judge bench ruled that it was “the nature and gravity of the crime but not the criminal, which are germane for consideration of appropriate punishment in a criminal trial.”

The Ravji approach of focusing on the aggravating circumstances (namely, the crime) at the expense of the mitigating circumstances (namely, the criminal) served as a precedent to at least six judgments, leading to the hanging of Ravji in 1996 and Surja Ram the following year. The erosion of the rarest-of-rare doctrine was finally decried by the SC in 2009 in Santosh Bariyar vs State of Maharashtra, followed by two more such correctives in 2010 and 2011. Earlier this year, the then President, Pratibha Patil, accepting the then home minister P Chidamabaram’s recommendation, commuted the death sentence to life in two of the seven cases, which had been guided by the Ravji verdict rather than the Bachan Singh verdict.

Responding to a campaign launched by human rights lawyer Yug Mohit Chaudhry, the 14 retired judges, who include five former chief justices of HCs, wrote to the President to commute the capital punishment in the remaining five cases involving nine persons. The appeals from the retired judges were sent to the President on Friday. With the change of guard in the home ministry, all pending mercy petitions from death penalty convicts are due to be considered afresh by the new home, Sushilkumar Shinde.

In their appeals, the retired judges took pains to clarify that none of the cases in question involved crimes against the state. Further, the concerns raised in their appeals have nothing to do with the larger debate about the desirability of retaining the death sentence.

“Rather they pertain to the administration of the death penalty in a conscientious, fair and just manner,” the ex-judges said. “Executions of persons wrongly sentenced to death will severely undermine the credibility of the criminal justice system. This matter goes to the very heart of our Constitution because it involves the taking of lives by the state on the basis of judgments admitted to be erroneous by the Supreme Court.” Those who signed these unprecedented appeals also include Justices A P Shah, B A Khan, Bilal Nazki, P K Misra, S N Bhargava, B H Marlapalle, B G Kolse-Patil, Hosbet Suresh, Prabha Sridevan, K P Sivasubramaniam, Ranvir Sahai Verma, P C Jain and Panachand Jain.

 

 

Medha Patkar among those opposed to Kasab’s #deathpenalty


 

Photograph of Ajmal Kasab, one of the ten terr...

Photograph of Ajmal Kasab, one of the ten terrorists involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks at the Victoria Terminus station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

by Abhay Vaidya Sep 1, 2012

 

 

 

The public reaction to the Supreme Court’s death sentence on the lone-surviving 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab is not as one-sided as it appears.

 

While the vast majority has hailed the verdict, with the Shiv Sena going to the extent of distributing sweets and demanding a Taliban-style public hanging of Kasab, there’s the voice of a small and fearless group at the other end too. The eminent social activist Medha Patkar, for one, has described the verdict as “unfortunate”.

 

“I call it unfortunate because I do not support the concept of the death penalty. I believe that the state does not have the right to take anyone’s life, irrespective of the crimes committed. By that logic we would then have to condone the murder committed by a person whose mother was raped,” Patkar said while speaking on police reforms during a Professionals Party of India panel discussion in Pune on Thursday.

 

 

 

Others who have been seeking the abolition of the death penalty in India include senior Supreme Court (SC) counsel Colin Gonsalves, former SC justice AK Ganguly and Justice KT Thomas, advocate Vinay Naidoo and former chief justice of the Delhi High Court Rajendra Sachar.

 

In his various writings on the subject, Justice Sachar has drawn references to show that Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar and Jaiprakash Narayan, were among those against the death penalty.

 

The euphoric reaction to Kasab’s death sentence is somewhat misplaced as the masterminds of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strike have remained untouched. Kasab was at the lowest point in the terror chain and had been adequately indoctrinated to have embraced death willingly. The SC verdict is logical given the extreme nature of his act of war against the Indian State; however, it’s neither outstanding nor extraordinary in any way.

 

What is likely to be extraordinary is the journey from here on and the time it takes to executing the sentence.

 

The death sentence of three of the four assassins of the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi continues to be pending over the last 11 years, even though it has been 21 years since Gandhi was assassinated on 21 May 1991 during an election rally at Sriperumpudur.

 

Following a humanitarian gesture by Gandhi’s widow Sonia, the death sentence of the fourth assassin, Nalini Murugan, was commuted to life imprisonment. In a touching act of forgiveness, Priyanka Gandhi met Nalini in prison in 2008.

 

The Madras High Court had fixed the date for the three executions for 9 September 2011, but this was stayed after eminent lawyers Ram Jethmalani, Colin Gonsalves and R. Vaigal appealed for commutation of death penalty to life in view of the inordinate delay in disposing the mercy petition of the convicts. Bowing to public pressure, Chief Minister J Jayalalitha had also moved a resolution urging the President to commute the death sentences. Among the many petitions to the chief minister was the one from the Tamil Film Director’s Union which pointed out that globally about 130 nations had abolished the death penalty.

 

As things stand, while nearly 140 countries have abolished the death penalty, India, along with the United States, China and Japan, is among the 58 nations which upholds the death penalty. However, with just one execution in the last 17 years, and more than 300 convicts on the death roll, India has been moving towards a moratorium on capital punishment. This is recognised as the first big step towards the abolition of the death penalty.

 

The number of executions in India fell drastically after the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict in 1982 in the Bachchan Singh vs State of Punjab case that the death penalty should be applied in the “rarest of rare” cases.

 

In November 2011, Justice Ganguly described capital punishment as “barbaric” and “irresponsible” but legal, while speaking in his personal capacity at a law school. He said that even the “rarest of rare” doctrine that was used as the basis for pronouncing the death sentence was flawed because it is “a grey area as it depended on the interpretation of individual judges”.

 

There is no big movement for the abolition of capital punishment in India and yet, the differing opinion on this sensitive issue has not been missed out by perceptive observers. As The Economist noted in its October 2011 edition, the case of Ajmal Kasab’s death penalty is a “big test” for India and “It would be a brave Indian who demands that he be spared.”

 

Indeed, the debate for and against death penalty in India is bound to intensify as the unfolding months and years reveal the fate that’s in store for Kasab.

 

 

Are We Not Alive: Women’s Voices from Kudankulam


English: Construction site of the Koodankulam ...

English: Construction site of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant Deutsch: Baustelle des Kernkraftwerks Kudankulam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

August 31, 2012

Guest post by ANITHA. S

As I sit here in my home village of Idinthikara watching the hot sun light up the waves rolling onto the shores, I think of the news that has hit the world today about the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant. All of you must have seen the news that Madras High Court has given the go-ahead for the KKNPP.

When we carried the dead body of democracy and burnt it in the outskirts of our village on Aug15th, 2012, little did we realize that so soon we would witness the real death of democracy. As this last nail is being tightened on our lives, we realize how insignificant has been our voice. But this has only strengthened our vow to be together.

As I think aloud with my friends gathered here rolling beedis and contemplating our future, I wonder who can give clearance without getting the consent of all of us who live so close to the plant. For over 2 decades, we have waited for some form of consultation with us about issues and doubts that have troubled our minds. Apart from generalized assurances with statements like It is Safe and There will be no problems, we have not been given any answers. Are we not still living here and are we not expected to live here? Or do we not exist or have become transparent like the people of Hiroshima who just vanished as they walked along the streets?

As we talk this afternoon with wind blowing over the Neem trees and bending the branches of the Drumstrick tree, it is our minds that are getting loaded-

We realize while cleaning the sardines and mackerels that came into our houses this morning that the Environmental Clearance given for the KKNPP is not appropriate or legal. What study can vouch for the safety of the KKNPP? Has the scientific team who did the study ever asked us about the fishes and other animals that have provided us with life for generations? Do they know the seasonality of the species, the variations in currents and tides, the changes in the seas as seasons change? Do they mention the rich wedge bank offshore that is home to many species that sustain our lives? What have they said about the abundant catch of prawns and lobsters? Who can decide that 45 degree centigrade or 35 degree centigrade is the permissible heat in which life forms will be safe? Will the water not contain substances with radiation? Is there a limit called permissible for radiation? Even children know that in the case of radiation, any dose is overdose.

We look at our homes and the sea avidly- because we are afraid this will all become an Exclusion zone as we have seen in Fukushima and Chernobyl. We might have to go away from here gathering all our belongings. Where will we go and how will we survive? We know of no life away from the sea. Our men are so dependant on the waters of the sea. Away from her, our health will wither, we will become wasters and gamblers not to speak of searching for the wrong kind of jobs. We need to be together to live in peace and harmony. Has any impact study ever mentioned this? Will a bit of money be able to buy us all that living in the community brings ?

Yes, please answer all these questions and we will reconsider our vow to struggle till KKNPP is closed. We suggest that all the  decision makers and technical support personnel connected to KKNPP stay with us in the village for a few days and explain and answer all our questions. Only then can our vow be broken…

[From conversations with Leema Navaras, Chellamma, Fransisca, Mary, Sundari, Annammal, Chinna Thankam, Tamilarasu, Ponnasakkiammal, Paramasithi, Melrit and Xavieramma and the innumerable women gathered in the Samara pandal at Idintakarai village. 
11.08.2012, 15-16.08.2012, 22.08.2012, 31st Aug 2012.]

Anitha.S ( anithasharma2007@gmailcom).

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