In the history of protests and movements regarding climate change, the one mass movement that will be highlighted is the ‘Nirmala Bachao Andolan’ initiated by Medha Patkar.
The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) was a mass movement in India that shaped environmentalism and climate change for future claims.
Medha Patkar was the core body that mobilized massive marches and rallies against the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam that would displace thousands of tribal people and mutilate the vast land of forests and farmlands.
The leading spokesperson for the Narmada Bachao Andolan was Medha Patkar, who played an active and crucial role in voicing concerns for the environment and sustainability.
Mad4India brings a take on Medha Patkar, the core person of the mass social movement Narmada Bachao Andolan and India’s most famous social & environmental activist.
Environmentalist Medha Patkar
Medha Patkar is an Indian social activist who has worked on various issues including the protection of the rivers and forests. She is also the founder member of the old movement ‘Narmada Bachao Andolan’ that was engaged in the struggle for justice for the people affected by dam projects in the Narmada river by the Sardar Sarovar dam project.
She voiced her concerns about the homes that got destroyed due to the project and had not been rehabilitated.
Medha Patkar has been a central organizer that catered peaceful protests and marches to stop the construction of the large dam projects.
Being an environmentalist and a keen supporter of sustainability, she not only vouched for the lives of the people but also the exploitation of the environment. The large dam project would not only destroy the beauty of the greenery forest and vast stretch of farmland, but the construction output would lead to massive pollution, degrading the environment.
The mass movement, which began in 1985, was a massive social change that constituted intellectuals like the Adivasis, human rights activists, environmental activists, academicians, and artists in the Narmada valley, standing for sustainable development.
The Narmada Bachao Andolan was supported by many social activists and environmentalists that were against the construction of dam projects near the Narmada river, which flows through Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.
The Sardar Sarovar dam in Gujarat is the biggest dam on the river and the focal point for the movement.
For years, the issue of sustaining the environment has been a headline, and countless times, it has reminded the human population that climate change is in a crisis, and one must take measures to preserve the forest and habitats. It also encouraged people to act on reforestation, plant tree saplings, and act on the three RRRs – Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce.
Medha Patkar not only helped the displaced people fight for their but continues to create content strategies for the ecological cycle. The Narmada Bachao Andolan would have caused several disruptions in people’s lives and the environment.
Medha Patkar mobilized a crucial part in protecting the environment against the construction of dam projects. She has become a role model for many activists to fight against the cause of the climate crisis.
There is no end to the greed of the human population, and the time to protect our nature needs to be taken.
Medha Patkar has raised issues and continues to voice out for sustainable development. She is one of the influential environmentalists in the country.
In the journey, Medha Patkar is also the founder of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM,) an alliance of progressive people organizations. She was also the commissioner of the World Commission on Dams, which does thorough research on environmental and social issues.
The leading spokesperson of Narmada Bachao Andolan was Medha Patkar and Baba Amte, which received the Right Livelihood Award in 1991.
Mad4India is pleased to cover the story of Medha Patkar and hopes to see more of such environmental activists contributing to making the world a better place.
To know more about Medha Patkar, please check – Wikipedia
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