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I see that poor people have very high self respect- they wont accept money even as a support in their plight. However, those who have the least self respect are asking for money (see the corruption/scams – politicians and babus).

Remember Satyamev Jayate of last year? Remember Amir Khan talking about drought problem in India in the show? This blog relates to similar such incident close to 9 months after the airing of the show.

On Thursday I came back home from work as usual – tired and just wanting to quickly have dinner and go off to bed. On dining table I heard this story – well a truth. This story ends (rather continues till today 25th Feb 13) at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai. A group of farmer from Solapur District in Maharashtra are sitting on Dharna for last3 weeks. The reason, what I understood with no maps and little understanding is below.

There is a river Bhima in Maharashtra (Check Google maps for Ujani dam). On this river government of Maharashtra has made a dam (Ujani Dharan, in Marathi) and a canal (Ujava dava kalva). This canal was apparently created for providing irrigation support to the farmers in that area. Well the Government confiscated the land from farmers stating that this land acquisition is for making a canal for them. Check the handmade drawing and explanation of situation below.

The canal is dried; water is released to the Sina River side for factories but not for the Villagers. Why? Sugar lobby! The stark reality I came to know is this –

1. someone (at least one, possibility of more cannot be denied) died digging a well further (the well was already very deep)

2. someone died digging a well even further because some poisonous gases emitted from the earth (dug so deep)

3. someone fell (perhaps jumped) in the well and died

The truth I came to know at my dinning table is this that The demonstrating farmers wanted to meet The Honorable CM of Maharashtra (Mr Prithivraj Chavan). They could meet him somehow (pushing their way in).

Pritish Nandi (a respected person of India) tweeted some days back about Mr Chavan “he is a good fellow”. He may be, but the solution he gave to the farmers would shatter this statement of Mr Nandi. The solution he suggested to the Farmers is this – you would get water in the Ujava Dava Kalva, but promise me your would only use it for drinking. What? Are you insane? Boss – what would farmers “do” than? leave their villages and start working in, perhaps the Sugar mills? Where would the sugar mills get cane for making cane sugar? Honestly speaking – I have no doubt on what Mr Nandi had to say, Mr Chavan must be a good fellow, under pressure from somewhere to make this statement.

Mr Chavan – I respect him because Mr Nandi said something good about him – is called ‘Baba’ amongst locals. these villagers are singing songs in the evening – “‘Baba’ pani dya…”. It sound like “Allah megh de, megh de pani de…”. ‘Baba’ can you please listen to these villagers?

The villagers were sitting on Dharna at Azad Maidan, these people are surviving on Vada pao (in Mumbai Vada pao is the one of the cheapest food to survive). When I heard that situation I felt like crying. Yet crying would not solve the problem. I thought I would help them in whatever way I can, perhaps give them some money. However, I have seen – poor people have very high self-respect, they wont ask or take money. I feel that something has to be done because giving money once is not going to solve the problem. They wont even accept that money. Be a Volunteer for a Better India!

At the same time Guruji (Sri Sri Ravishankar) is in Mumbai. In one public talk he said –

1. do rain water harvesting, that seems a solution

2. Volunteer for a better India

Pictorial sketch of the Solapur district discussed above –

Solapur Farmers plight - sketchThe central box is Ujani dam, left to it is Bhima river. From the Ujani dam there are two ways water flows. To your left there is Ujava dava Kalva and to your right a tunnel to Sina River (Govt also created this tunnel). At the bottom of this image there is Sina river. On the shores of Sina river, there are Sugar mills. Now you see a box has been created between Ujava dava Kalva and Sina river. People of these villages do not even have water to drink.

By the way Sugar mills are supported by Government of India big time (check ET 25th Feb 13 for page 20) . Actually, Home Minister of India (Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde) belongs to Solapur District and the Agriculture Minister of India (Mr Sharad Pawar) is from that side. Also, many of the owners of these mills are sitting MLAs or MPs. I heard Guruji saying that the Sugar lobby is very strong in India.