BOOK RELEASE – ‘Why Dams?’
9th APRIL 2016
4:00pm – 6:00pm
Deputy Chairman Hall , Constitution Club of India,
Rafi Marg (near Patel Chowk metro station), New Delhi
National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) and Delhi Solidarity Group invite you to the premiere of the documentary ‘Tehri – 2015 – The 10 years of Injustice’ directed by Vimal bhai. The film is a testimony to the human and ecological crisis that has emerged in the Himalayan region after the construction of dams such as Tehri which have ruined the lives and livelihoods of local communities and caused irreparable damage to the environment. The documentary speaks of Tehri dam’s history of illegal and forced land acquisitions, violations of environmental safety norms and unfair rehabilitation of displaced families that are still seeking justice even after 10 years of its commissioning. The film is a witness to the dam’s devastating impact on people’s lives.
Along with screening of this powerful documentary another work of Vimal bhai – a Hindi booklet titled ‘Why Dams?’ – will be released for the larger audience. The booklet has been published by NAPM and documents years of work done in dam affected regions of Uttarakhand. The book discusses the environmental degradation, displacement and loss of livelihoods of the people in Uttarakhand owing to building of large dams. Complementary to the documentary this booklet reflects on the worsening state of environment and people in Uttarakhand.
About the Film maker:
An environmental and social activist working in the field since 1987, Vimal Bhai is not what one would call a quintessential film maker. With a vast experience garnered over the years through active involvement with issues such as communalism, dam displacement, environmental law violations and rehabilitation, Vimal Bhai is today considered to be one of the stalwarts in this field. His initial foray into this field took place while working as a volunteer at the Gandhi Hindustani Sahitya Sabha with senior Gandhian activists Veena Handa and Indu Behen. It is here that he got an opportunity to work with the veteran environmentalist Sunder Lal Bahuguna, who introduced him to the Tehri Dam struggle. He draws insipiration from Medha Patkar, to whom he credits his knowledge and proficiency on people’s movements. He believes that in order to achieve a society which is self-reliant on the basis of equality and equity one must challenge the larger developmental issues.
Apart from Tehri, he is also actively engaged with the on – going struggles in Ganga and Yamuna Valley for the preservation of the ecologically important environment. In his journey, one of his biggest achievement is the formation of National Green Tribunal through one of his case challenging environment clearance of Loharinag – Pala HEP on Ganga. He has penned down 18 books regarding dam issues and also contributes to newspapers, magazines and journals regularly. He is associated with the Matu Jan Sangathan, an organization working in the Himalayas on the issue of displacement.
Schedule for the Program is as follows::
4:00pm – 4:15pm –Welcome and introduction
4:15pm – 4:45pm – Documentary release by Justice Rajendra Sachhar – Tehri 2015 –Ten years of Injustice
4:45pm – 5:15pm – Discussion on Film
5:15 pm – 5:30 pm Release of the booklet ‘Why Dams?’ by Shambhunath Shukla, Senior journalist Ex-editor of Amar Ujala Hindi daily
5:30 pm – 6.00 pm Felicitation of Adv. Sanjay Parikh who is fighting case on Tehri Dam since 1992
6:00pm – 6:55 pm – “Tehri dam and Dams of Ganga Valley” Panel discussion – Speakers include
- Rtd Justice Rajinder Sachar, Former Chief Justice of Delhi
- Adv. Sanjay Parikh, Supreme Court
- Dr Usha Ramanathan, Legal Researcher and fellow at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
- Shekhar Singh – Environmentalist
- Puran Singh Rana, Balwant Panwar – Matu Jan Sangathan
6:55pm – 7:00 pm – Vote of Thanks and Tea
Shabnam, Shefali, Sukruta
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