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Jansatyagraha 2012 Jansatyagraha 2012 Jansatyagraha 2012 Jansatyagraha 2012 Jansatyagraha 2012 Jansatyagraha 2012 Jansatyagraha 2012 Jansatyagraha 2012

Jansamvad Yatra

The Samwad Yatra a year-long program starting on October 2nd 2011, is a national mobilization in India leading up to the Jan Satyagraha or March for Justice in October 2012.

Rajagopal and some twenty other Ekta Parishad workers will travel in a caravan of jeeps to 350 districts from the south to the north of India over the course of the next year traveling 80,000 kilometers (October 2011 to September 2012). 

The goal of the Samwad Yatra and the Jan Satyagraha 2012 will be to increase access and ownership to land, improve livelihoods and contribute to sustainable development. It will champion the rights of the poor and strive to change land laws and policies for the benefit of agricultural laborers, peasants and small-scale farmers, and disenfranchised tribal people. Promoting rights to land, forest and water and building a non-violent economy will strengthen people’s control over vital resources, promote economic and social development locally and contribute to food security globally.

The Samwad Yatra will start at the southern tip of India, namely Kanyakumari, and move to all parts of the country arriving at the most northern point in Kashmir, carrying the message of non-violence and land rights, learning from the experience of people along the way, and mobilizing support. This will be a chance for Ekta Parishad to interact with marginalized communities across the country, culminating in the Jan Satyagraha (March of Justice) in October 2012. 

In the course of the Yatra, meetings will be arranged with decision-makers in the different localities. Discussions will be initiated on a range of land issues and non-violent responses to land concentration and urban-based development.

By joining the Samwad Yatra, through information-sharing, campaigning, donations or other acts of solidarity (www.ektaeurope.org ), you can make a difference. You can follow the route of the yatra through daily reports on the Ekta Parishad blog, Rajagopal's facebook, and the Ekta Parishad, Ekta Europe and Jan Satyagraha websites.

By working together wherever we are and in whatever ways we can, our combined forces and goodwill will contribute to a groundswell of relevant actions. In a world that is being torn apart by long-term inequality and growing economic and environmental crises, we are all in need of the alternative vision and practical solidarity symbolized by the Jan Satyagraha.

The map of the full Yatra can be found >> here <<

There is also a list of all stops of the Yatra which can be found >> here <<

Videos from the Jansamvad Yatra

To get a better understanding of the daily experiences the Yatra team is making on their way and to learn more about the different struggles they are encountering, our media team has produced several videos, which you can watch bellow: a village of Jharkhand which is struggling against mining companies grabbing their land; the situation of the people in the North-East between a massive presence of army, paramilitary forces and several big dam projects which are affecting their natural resources; and many more.

These films are made by Jatan Media for Environmental Communication, an organization founded by the film-maker Pravin Pagare. Through videos, this organization aims to support movements working on environmental issues, especially Ekta Parishad. It also provides support to film-makers who want to do films in India.

Madhya Pradesh, May 2012

Prepared to go to Delhi and to face the government

In Dindori, Madhya Pradesh, Adivasis (tribals) and other people of poor communities came to attend a public meeting of Ekta Parishad. Even when the government passes laws in their favor, as the Forest Rights Act, these laws are not implemented, and the rights of poor people remain only on paper. People are ready to defend their rights through non-violence, and are preparing themselves for the march Jan Satyagraha 2012 which will start in October 2nd.

Where will they stay? Adivasis claim for their right to land

On the occasion of the Jan Samwad Yatra, representatives of Adivasis (tribal) communities gathered in Tikamgarh. They stayed in small huts which represent their situation in their villages: in spite of claims under the Forest Rights Act to get land, they are still living under makeshift shelters. Some people got land titles, but no land is actually allotted to them. Some people submitted claims which are pending for years. Others see their land confiscated. Where will they stay? In this area, 1500 people were supposed to participate to the March Jan Satyagraha, but they will be 2000.

Our story in a song

During a meeting with the Jan Samwad Yatra, a man tells the story of his community through a song: displaced because of a tiger park project, “we have lost our home, our land, our wealth and we have been given huts instead”. 

A testimony on the Jansamvan Yatra and the Global Movement

Jill Carr-Harris, travelling with the Jan Samwad Yatra in Madhya Pradesh, gives her feedback on what she has witnessed. She highlights the presence of many community workers, and especially of women leaders, which is a very encouraging fact in a society where women are generally not given space and are facing huge problems to meet their basic needs. Jill also speaks about the necessity to increase the interest of the middle-classes, the political classes and the media on the issue of land rights and the march Jan Satyagraha which will start in October 2nd 2012 and will involve 100 000 people. Finally, Jill mentions the numerous actions which will be held in the world to support Jan Satyagraha and to raise the issue of land and livelihood resources.

Implementing the laws for justice

In the district of Dindori, people are struggling since many years with the administration to get land under the Forest Rights Act. Sukalsingh Rathudiya, a resident of the district, observes that if educated people were obeying the laws, no injustice would be done to his community. The problem is that educated people consider obedience to law as a burden, not as their duty. In the same district, numerous Adivasi (tribals) Baiga are threatened with displacement because of big dam projects. Yet, the government could choose to build small dams, which would not lead to the eviction of local people.

A company grabbing land… and road 

Wellspun company affected people

In the village of Bhuj Bhujia Dokaria, the company Wellspun is acquiring the land of farmers. But people here don't agree to lose their land. To show their determination to protest non-violently, they prepared funeral pyres for themselves in case their land is forcefully taken : they are ready to give their lives, but not to give their land.

Bihar, April 2012

We are Gandhian, not Maoists

In April, the Jan Samwad Yatra was travelling through Bihar. French friends joined the yatra in Jamui to understand the gandhian way of action used by EKta Parishad to raise the issue of land and livelihood resources. After a public meeting, French visitors have been detained by the police and then deported from Bihar. At the same time, police accused Ekta Parishad in newspapers to support the cause of Maoist rebels. Rajagopal P.V., founder of Ekta Parishad, denies these allegations and explains how non-violence is at the roots of the movement. 


A land to build a home

In the Indian state of Bihar, many people are homeless and landless. They live on the land of someone else and are constantly threaten with expulsion. The march Jan Satyagraha which will gather 100 000 in October, will raise this issue to Delhi.

Assam, March 2012


The government cares for companies, not for people

During public meetings in Assam, one question is recurrent : why does the government cares more for multinational companies than for its own citizens ? As in other states of India, people in Assam are facing problems due to projects of private companies grabbing or misusing natural resources and threatening lives and livelihood of local people. In this process companies are often supported by the government.

Not to ignore the situation of North-East

The Jan Samwad Yatra spent 25 days in North-Eastern states of India, and explored problems faced by people there: the massive presence of army and paramilitary forces since decades, the constructions of big dams affecting people's resources, the very bad conditions of tea gardens workers, and more generally the attitude of mainland India, which seems to ignore the situation and the culture of North-East.

Jharkhand, February 2012

Land struggles in Jharkhand

Previously part of Bihar, Jharkhand wasformed in 2000. It was created after many years of struggle to give Adivasis (who represent about 28% of the population) a state where their culture and wayof life would be more respected. Laws in favour of Adivasis -- for example theChota Nagpur Act, PESA, Forest act -- were supposed to fulfill this hope. ButJharkhand is also a state rich in natural resources which caught the interestof the companies and the state, and here as elsewhere, Adivasis are facing theconstant threat of eviction.


Homeless because of the mines

"We will die but we will not giveour land". Parmeshwar Goph is a man from Jharkhand. In his region, peopleare displaced by the mines and become homeless. But he doesn't agree to losehis land to the profit of mining companies, and he is determined to strugglethrough a non-violent way.

We are asking for our rights, not begging for something

In Jharkhand, different lawsexist to protect the land and resources of Adivasis, Dalits, and farmers, butthese laws are not properly implemented, and, as in other states, poor sectionsof the society are losing their access to land and livelihood resources to thebenefit of private companies. But people are determined to fight for their rights.

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