July 28, 2007
life in general: my parikrama (worship) of river narmada and her daughters & sons...
My last week in Outlook (see my previous post), I decided to take a breather from work and do something that feels dear to my soul -- to touch base with people in far-off places (mostly non-affluent) to get a feel of issues affecting them. That was also the basis of my trip to Narmada valley in December 2005.
This week, once again, saw my taking off to the same place in Narmada Valley -- this time I stayed at Prakash Kumawat's home in Eklara village in Badwani in Madhya Pradesh. Excluding 32 hours of travel time to reach there and come back, I was there from Wednesday (July 25) noon to Friday (July 27) noon. Prakash is a 26-year old farmer with whom I developed a good friendship during my last trip and with whom I have been in touch on the phone since then.
While I was there I could not meet Medha Patkar this time as my priority was to stay in the village and interact with the villagers. Medhaji was again engrossed in an ongoing protest against the governmental authorities on issues arising out of the Sardar Sarovar Nigam Dam Project. And, on the evening of Wednesday (July 25) she, her fellow colleagues from Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save Narmada Movement) and villagers including children were arrested in a human rights-violating manner by the police of Madhya Pradesh under instructions from the chief minister of the state, Shivraj Chauhan.
Below are some pics of the Eklara villagers and Narmada River (Eklara village is on the bank of the river) I took while I was there. I have more pics uploaded here.
I have also uploaded on youtube a one-minute video of the Eklara river bank on Narmada.
Update (29 October 2007): On 28 October 2007 I have written a follow-up post on my July visit to Narmada valley.