Displacement in the name of Development on the Banks of Narmada

 

The 110 families of Kumhars (brickmakers) living on the banks of Narmada in Madhya Pradesh are worried as life as they knew it for generations, will end soon. “My home and our brick kiln land will be submerged by the Sardar Sarovar dam,” says Om Prakash Prajapati, a Kumhar from Nisurpur, a village in Madhya Pradesh.

However, the till date, the government has not taken any initiative to even access the occupational loss of this community with a survey. Neither is the community confident that the State has any plans to rehabilitate them to similar occupational grounds.

 

The neglect from the Madhya Pradesh government has raised the fear in the 110 families with one persistent question, ‘Will we have to leave their ancestral jobs and become daily wagers?’

While the government urges urban India to take up entrepreneurship, the spirit of business in these small communities is being quashed in the name of development. The community is worried for their future, “How do we earn a livelihood? How do we educate them? How do we run the house?” asks Om Prakash. But the government doesn’t seem to have an answer to his concerns.

“There appears to be no arrangement for rehabilitation, or livelihoods for Kumhars, who make vessels and bricks from clay,” reveals Davaram Khanera, an activist from Nisurpur who has been fighting for fair compensations to the Narmada oustees in the region.

Pawan Solanki, 24, our Community Correspondent in Madhya Pradesh has been documenting the testimonies of the displaced in Madhya Pradesh since the past four years, to get them justice. “I want the 110 Kumhar families to get justice and rehabilitated. I want the 110 Kumhar families to get justice and rehabilitated. I would like you to help us for the same,” Pawan tells all of us.

Join Pawan’s cause and call Ambaram Patidar, the Rehabilitation Officer in Dhar at +91-9424564476 and demand that the Kumhars are rightfully rehabilitated.

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Pawan Solanki.

Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ they give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change. we could hyperlink to some VV pages, like our take action page.

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