Medha Patkar in 2002
1 December 1954 |
|Other names||Medha tai|
|Education||M.A. in Social Work|
|Alma mater||Tata Institute of Social Sciences|
|Organization||National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM)|
|Aam Aadmi Party|
|Narmada Bachao Andolan|
Medha Patkar (born 1 December 1954) is an Indian social activist and social reformer turned politician. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has announced her as party's candidate for North East, Mumbai for Loksabha elections 2014. She is the founder member of Narmada Bachao Andolan and was National Convener of National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), an alliance of progressive people’s organisations. She was a representative to the World Commission on Dams, to research the environmental, social and economic impacts of the development of large dams globally. She has also filed a public interest petition in the Bombay High Court against Lavasa along with other members of National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), including Anna Hazare. She is known for her alternate view on growth of country and liberalization.
- 1 Early and personal life
- 2 Activism
- 2.1 Narmada Bachao Andolan
- 2.2 National Alliance of People’s Movements
- 2.3 World Commission on Dams
- 2.4 Tata Nano Plant Singur
- 2.5 Lavasa
- 2.6 Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project
- 2.7 Jan Lokpal Andolan
- 2.8 Golibar Demolition
- 2.9 Save Sugar-Cooperatives Mission
- 2.10 Hiranandani land scam
- 2.11 Kovvada Nuclear project
- 3 Political career
- 4 Awards and honors
- 5 Citations
- 6 External links
Early and personal life
Medha Patkar was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, to Indu and Vasant Khanolkar. Medha was raised by politically and socially active parents. Her father fought in the India's independence movement and later helped with the organizational efforts of the trade union. Medha's mother is a member of a women's organization named Swadhar which is set up to help and assist women who are suffering difficult circumstances stemming from financial, educational, and health related problems. Medha's mother and her father's activism played a major role in shaping her views. She was brought up politically and socially active family environment, where the expectation was that even through career she must serve the people. Medha Patkar earned an M.A. in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, after which she worked with voluntary organizations in Mumbai's slums for 5 years and tribal districts of North-East Gujarat for 2 years. She left her position on the faculty of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences as well as her unfinished Ph.D. when she became immersed in the tribal and peasant communities in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Her work with these communities eventually lead to the organization Narmada Bachao Andolan.
Narmada Bachao Andolan
Medha Patkar initiated and still working with Narmada Bachao Andolan with a mass base in tribal and peasant communities in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and support groups with more than 30 centres all over India and the supporting coalition of NGOs in more than ten countries, called Narmada Action Committee. Medha Patkar mobilized massive marches and peaceful protests against the construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam, which displaced thousands of tribal peoples and submerged vast stretches of forests and farmland.
National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) is an alliance of more than 250 grass root people’s struggles in India working on a range of issues related to socio – economic – political - justice and equity. Medha Tai founded the National Alliance of Peoples' Movements to facilitate unity and provide strength to peoples' movements in India fighting against oppression, further questioning the current ‘development’ model so as to work towards a just alternative. She is National Convener of NAPM.
World Commission on Dams
Ms. Patkar served as a Commissioner to the World Commission on Dams, the first independent global multi-stakeholder Commission constituted to enquire on the water, power and alternative issues, related to dams, across the world. She provided detailed analysis of large dams and in-depth recommendations on the planning of large dams or any development project. Final report was signed unanimously, with an additional comment from Ms. Patkar.
Tata Nano Plant Singur
Tata Motors started constructing a factory to manufacture their $2,500 car, the Tata Nano at Singur. Although Medha had studied at an Institute run by Tata Group, yet she protested against the setting up of the plant at Singur, West Bengal. She was of the opinion that local will not get sufficient benefits from plant and they will also loose their fertile land for industrial establishment. On December 2, 2006, Medha was arrested by the police at Singur for her involvement in the protest against getting the hold of farmland. She was detained, because the police officers thought that, she might provoke people, thus leading to law and order problem. Medha convoy was assaulted allegedly by CPI(M) activists at Kapaseberia in East Midnapore district while on her way to strife-torn Nandigram. At the height of the agitation, Ratan Tata had made remarks questioning the source of funds of the agitators. In October 2008 Tata announced that the factory will not be completed and the production of the Nano will be set up in Sanand, Gujarat. However, some locals later appealed to Tata Motors to set up the plant at Singur accepting that they were misled.
Lavasa is a lavish project by Hindustan Construction Corporation, in Maharashtra. It is a yet-to be completed city. Lavasa Project is criticised by P. Sainath for unjust use of water in a worst hit farmer suicide state. Medha Patkar with villagers of Lavasa protested for the environmental damage in Nagpur. She also filed a PIL-Public Interest Litigation in Supreme Court against the Lavasa project.
Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project
Patkar's refusal to participate in protest against a proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project, in her home region of Konkan, has made local activists there unhappy and sad. One Konkan activist accused her of highlighting issues to "further her own purpose", and then abandoning them.
Jan Lokpal Andolan
Medha Patkar openly supported the anti-corruption campaign of Anna Hazare. In support of Jan Lokpal bill the renowned social activist said, "Our goal is not Jan Lokpal alone. There has to be a Jan Andolan, a mass movement. We will try and bring together many people's movements". From the stage of Jan Lokpal Andolan in delhi she expressed that constitution is supreme law of the country and it says every citizen is same in eye of constitution or any other law of country then putting Prime Minister out of Jan Lokpal even if he has involved in corruption is unconstitutional.
A demolition took place on April 2 and 3, 2013 in the Golibar area, Mumbai, Maharashtra evicting 43 houses and displacing more than 200 people. Medha Patkar with more than 500 slum dwellers set on indefinite fast to protest against any further demolition until the inquiry into the matter is completed. Patkar has alleged corruption and "atrocities" by builders in the city's slum rehabilitation scheme, and called for the halting of six projects by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority, until a proper inquiry is conducted.
Save Sugar-Cooperatives Mission
To save Sugar-Cooperative sector in Maharashtra from falling into hand of politician Medha Patkar organises protests. She explain that "the politicians are interested in the prime plots of land, old equipment and machinery," of sugar co-operatives and accused state of selling assets of industry at throwaway rates.
Hiranandani land scam
Medha Patkar along with other activist registered PIL in High Court, alleging violations by property tycoon Niranjan Hiranandani in building sprawling flats instead of affordable houses. Hiranandani had signed a lease for the 230 acres of land in 1986 at rate of Re 1 per hectare in a tripartite agreement with the state and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. Responding to PIL Maharashtra High Court judges says that" we appreciate the elegance of the construction and the intent at creating an architecture marvel for the city of Mumbai, we see the specific intent of wholly ignoring the most vital, and perhaps the only, condition in tripartite agreement (to create affordable houses of 40 and 80 sq m)". If calculated according to the current market price, the quantum of the scam will be around Rs. 45,000 crore.
Kovvada Nuclear project
Strongly opposed land acquisition in Kovvada of Ranasthalam mandal in Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh saying that the nuclear plant would be a disaster for ecology as well as people of region.
On Jan 13, 2014 Medha Patkar announced her support to the Aam Aadmi Party, a political party, led by Arvind Kejriwal. Patkar will contest 2014 Lok Sabha election from the North East Mumbai constituency as Aam Aadmi Party candidate.
Awards and honors
- 1991: Right Livelihood Award
- 1992: Goldman Environment Award
- 1995: Green Ribbon Award for Best International Political Campaigner by BBC England
- 1999: Human Rights Defender’s Award from Amnesty International, Germany
- 1999: M.A. Thomas National Human Rights Award from Vigil India Movement
- 1999: Deena Nath Mangeshkar Award
- 1999: Mahatma Phule Award
- "National Alliance of People's Movement Website".
- "Final report of World commission on dams". United Nations Environment Programme.
- "Pawar should resign, Maharashtra Govt. must probe irregularities: NAPM". The HIndu.
- "Medha Patkar: Biography" (PDF). Women in World History. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- "Supreme Court Affidavit Medha Patkar". Friends of Narmada.
- "A mother speaks: I worry for her but I know Medha is right". The Times Of India. 2006-04-19.
- "The Unstoppable Indians: Medha Patkar (An interview in 2008)". NDTV.
- "Interview of Medha Patkar by Sonya Thimmaiah-May, 2001".
- "National Conveners Team National Alliance of People’s Movements". National Alliance of People’s Movements.
- "Medha Patkar: The People's Protester". Think2013.
- "Interview of Medha Patkar on August 07, 1999 at the Domkhedi satyagraha site".
- "People's movements in the past".
- "Medha Patkar: 1992 Goldman Prize winner, India". The Goldman Environmental Prize.
- "Website National Alliance for People's Movement". NAPM.
- "Citizen's’ guide to The World Commission On Dams". International Rivers Network.
- "Dams and Development a new framework for decision making". World Commission on Dams.
- The Hindu Business Line, 26 November 2006[dead link]
- "Medha Patkar's convoy attacked". NDTV.
- "Tata has some values: Medha Patkar". DNA. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
- "Singur locals asks Tatas to set up a plant, offer cooperation". The Economic Times. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
- "How the other half dries". The Hindu.
- "Lavasa battles to get environmental clearance". CNN IBN.
- "Medha fan base shrinks in Konkan". The Sunday Guardian. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- "Jan Andolan is the new goal". CNN IBN.
- Medha Patkar's Speech at Ram Lila Ground. Cvbnews. 21 August 2011.
- "Medha Patkar enters Day 8 of indefinite fast". Hindustan Times.
- "Aruna Roy seeks Sonia’s help to end Medha Patkar’s fast". The Times of India.
- "Medha Patkar, Anna Hazare on sugar co-operative save mission". CNN IBN.
- "Efforts to bury the Rs45,000 crore Hiranandani land scam in Powai, Mumbai?". Money Life. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- Shibu Thomas (Feb,23 2012). "Hiranandani can’t build in Powai sans HC okay". The Times of India (Mumbai, India). Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "Case against builder Hiranandani, senior bureaucrat, others for Rs. 30,000-crore land scam". The Hindu. July 6, 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "Medha Patkar cries halt to Kovvada nuclear project". The Hindu.
- "AAP to field Medha Patkar, Anjali Damania for Lok Sabha polls; releases first list of 20 candidates". Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- "Laureates 1991-Medha Patkar & Baba Amte / Narmada Bachao Andolan".
- "1992 Goldman Environmental Prize ceremony: Medha Patkar". The Goldman Environment Prize.
- "Medha Patkar selected for 1999 M.A. Thomas National Human Rights Award".
- "Quicktakes Indian Express". The Indian Express. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Medha Patkar – The People’s Protestor". Tehelka Magazine.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Medha Patkar.|
- Medha Patkar on Twitter
- Medha Patkar on Facebook
- Friends of the river Narmada website
- Articles written by Medha Patkar
- National Alliance of people's movement official website