Press release: Jan Satyagraha starts on its way to Delhi
[via Ekta Parishad] October 3, 2012- On October 3rd, poor and marginalized communities of India started their 350 km walk from Gwalior to Delhi to demand their rights to land and livelihood resources.
This morning, at 8 am, 50, 000 people, adivasis (tribals), dalits and other marginalized communities of India left the Mela Ground in Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) to start the Jan Satyagraha – March for Justice. On this first day, they covered 22 km, taking the national highway leading to Delhi. Some of the participants of Jan Satyagraha stayed back in order to clean the Mela Ground of Gwalior, where people had been gathering since the end of September in order to prepare for the march. In spite of the heat, all went well during this first day, and people are ready to take the road again. Tomorrow, they will cover a distance of 12 kilometres to reach Morena.
The Jan Satyagraha – March for Justice aims to give a voice to the poorest communities of India that are asking the right to live in dignity. The main demands of this huge non-violent action, directly inspired by Gandhi, are a new land reform policy which would guarantee access to land and livelihood resources, and a law establishing the right to shelter. As negotiations with the government were intense during the last 2 weeks, the march was about to succeed even before its departure. Unfortunately, the proposal of the government presented yesterday on the Mela Ground of Gwalior by the Minister of Rural Development M. Jairam Ramesh was too noncommittal in meeting the expectations of the marchers and the leadership of Jan Satyagraha. The march, they decided, was necessary to keep the pressure on the government.
Prepared over the course of four years by many Indian organizations, and led by the Gandhian leader P.V. Rajagopal of Ekta Parishad, the Jan Satyagraha is supported worldwide, and many non-violent actions (marches, forum, exhibitions, etc) are held in various countries in solidarity with the Indian marchers.
DATES and PLACES :
March Jan Satyagraha, October 2012, from Gwalior to Delhi, INDIA.
October 3rd, 2012 : March from Muradabad to Morena.