Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Press Invite - Press Conference & Book Release on, "How Harsh Is Your Soft Drink ?"

Press invite


New Delhi

June 2, 2010

Chief Editor/Bureau Chief


New Delhi


          Hazards Centre invites you to a press conference and book release on, “How Harsh Is Your Soft Drink ?” which will be held on 4th June, 2010 at 2pm in Gandhi Peace Foundation, ITO, New Delhi. This book is based on the study of environmental quality in five different areas surrounding the soft drink manufacturing plants.


The study has evaluated the heavy metal content in water and soil of the neighboring areas of soft drink manufacturing plants and even in solid waste or effluents coming out of these plants. The five different areas included in this study are:


1.    Pepsi plant in Panipat, Haryana,

2.    Pepsi plant in Chopanki, Rajasthan,

3.    Coca cola plant in Kaladera, Rajasthan,

4.    Coca cola plant in Mehdiganj, Utttar Pradesh &

5.    Coca cola plant in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.


The study has found out in most of the areas environment quality is deteriorating due to the presence of heavy metal in both soil and water which is thereby creating various problems in the neighborhood of these plants.


Place: Gandhi Peace Foundation, 221 / 223, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, ITO, New Delhi –110003

Time: 2pm to 5pm


Key persons in panel:

Smt. Vandana Shiva, NAVDANYA, New Delhi

Rameshwar Prasad, Kaladera

Ravi Chopra, PSI, Dehradoon

Rajesh Yagnik, Bandhua Mukti Morcha, Chopanki

Nandlal and Suresh, Lok Samiti, Mehdiganj

Sarafat Bhai, Azadi Bachao Andolan, Ghaziabad

Banwari Lal Sharma, Azadi Bachao Andolan, Panipat

Dunu Roy, Director, Hazards Centre.


Hazards Centre is a professional support group which has been assisting community groups in identifying, understanding, and combating the “hazards” that beset them. The Centre is largely not pro-active, but responds to requests. At times, where several communities are affected by the same set of factors, the Centre may also undertake to do research on a common theme in order to disseminate the findings to a larger range of social groups.


We, the team of Hazards Centre cordially invite you to be a part of this press conference and in sharing this report.


Thanking you.

Mukesh Chourase

Mob. No. 9911626739

Hazards Centre
92-H, Third floor, Pratap Market,
Munirka, New Delhi -110067
Postman Beat Code - 06
Ph: 011-26714244, 26187806

Monday, May 31, 2010

Invite for YfD and GX 10-11

Invite for YfD and GX 10-11



Dear Friends


Greetings from Pravah


Pravah, as you may be aware, is a Delhi based registered non- profit organization, building leadership for social change among youth, since 1993. We at Pravah are committed towards creating active citizens- a base of sensitive, well informed, independent minded young people who can contribute constructively to society and create a better world in diverse ways irrespective of their specific chosen fields.


 We are very pleased to inform you about three of our exciting programmes for the young people! Kindly spread the word about these programmes in your personal and professional networks and encourage the youth to apply for these programmes:


 YOUTH FOR DEVELOPMENT (YfD) is a six month internship programme in partnership with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) wherein young people get an opportunity to understand development issues, develop life skills and engage with a community with the view of creating a positive impact on the community and the issue. YfD volunteers intern with a grass root organisation/people's movement for a period of six months and are constantly mentored during the process. The period of internship is from September 2010 to March 2011.


 GLOBAL XCHANGE is a 6 month international exchange programme in partnership with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO). The volunteers here will be placed for 3 months in a community in UK and 3 months in a community in India wherein the focus is to build respect and understanding among young people about different people, culture and communities between September 2010 to March 2011.


 More information about the above two programmes are mentioned in the attached one pager of YfD and GX.


 CHANGE LOOMS is a leadership and organisational development programme that supports, encourages and recognises young people (18-30 years) and their teams who have started and are running their own independent projects or organisations working for social change. The programme is intended to support new organisations grow and move forward. The Change Looms programme offers training and capacity building, mentoring opportunities, financial assistance for learning and organisational development needs and felicitation at a public event. More information about the programme is mentioned in the attached one-pager on Change Looms.


For further information on Youth for Development (YfD) and Global Xchange and/or emailing application forms please contact Lokasish/Shubhi/Abhijit at 011-26440619, 011-26213918, 011-26291354 or mail us at or


For further information and application forms for Change Looms please contact Navneet at 011-26440619, 011-26213918, 011-26291354 or mail at


Last date for receiving application forms for YfD and Global XChange programme is June 15th 2010 and for Change Looms is July 16th 2010. Completed application forms can also be sent to our office address: Pravah, C-24-B, II Floor. Kalkaji, New Delhi -110019. Please mention the programme applying for on the envelope.


 We would really appreciate if you spread the message across and join in our efforts of reaching out as many Organizations, Institutions and Individuals as possible.


Candidates should be Indian nationals between the age group of 18 -25 years for Global Exchange, 18-27 years for YfD and 18-30 for Change Looms. The candidate must have working knowledge of English and/or Hindi.


Warm Regards



2nd Floor, C-24B, Kalkaji,

New Delhi 110019

Tel: +91-11-26213918/26440619/26291354



Invite: Independent People's Tribunal on Sardar Sarovar and Narmada Canals

Subject: [initiative-india] Invite: Independent People's Tribunal on Sardar Sarovar and Narmada Canals

Independent / Indian People’s Tribunal










Everyone is well-acquainted with the reality of the Sardar Sarovar Project and its impacts over the past 25 years and more. The displaced adivasis and farmers of the Narmada valley have, through all these years, raised crucial questions not just about their rights and rehabilitation but on all aspects of this mega-project within the constitutional and legal framework, which had to be answered, both by the State and the society.

Hoax of Rehabilitation: The displaced and affected adivasis, farmers, labourers, fish workers, potters and others have also questioned the scale and justifiability of the displacement, the implementation of the Rehabilitation Policy and the future of thousands of them in the valley. With alternative land and livelihood-based rehabilitation nowhere in sight, people have been seriously challenging the statistics and information of the Government, massive corruption, fake land bank, lack of rehabilitation villages for the submerged adivasis, flaws in enumeration of back water levels, inclusion and exclusion of thousands of persons and many other emerging issues and irregularities.

Of course, 11,000 families have received land for land in Maharashtra and Gujarat, but is that complete and satisfactory? How true and complete are the reports of the project and monitoring authorities on the R&R? Even to this day, more than 2 lakh people are living in the submergence area of this one big Project, without rehabilitation. Despite this, the Government wants to push the project to its full height of 138.68 mts, beyond the present height of 122 mts, which itself was based on fake claims and false affidavits of rehabilitation and environmental non-compliance. Will the living communities be consigned to a watery grave? Will this be legal and just?

Environmental Harm: The Devender Pandey Expert Committee Reports (2009 & 2010) have clearly concluded severe non-compliance of various environmental safeguard measures as stipulated in the environmental clearance of 1987. In such a situation, the Committee recommends that neither can the dam proceed further nor could the canals be built. When the command area development, catchment area treatment, compensatory Afforestation, protection of flora and fauna, relocation of archeological monuments and other environmental works are not even carried out, neither can the negative impacts be mitigated nor can the benefits be realized.

Noose of Costs and Benefits:

It is now in public domain that the cost of the Sardar Sarovar project today has shot up from the original estimate of Rs. 4,200 crores to 45,000 crores (at present prices) and shall go upto Rs. 70,000 crores by 2010 as per the estimates of the Planning Commission itself. In such a situation, when the entire Project is in doldrums, how can the Planning Commission approve revised investment clearance of Rs. 39,240 crores? With not more than 10% of the available waters being used by Gujarat, why raise the height and destroy the valley? Without assessing the actual status of compliance on the rehabilitation and environmental measures, assessing compliance on the conditions stipulated in the Planning Commission’s clearance in 1988 and reviewing the entire Project in the light of the benefits-costs scenario, how can the construction of dam and canals go further?

The Game of Canals in irrigated villages:

Another new challenge that has cropped up in the past few years is the huge canal network of the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar in the Sardar Sarovar affected areas that are being pushed ahead without even having in place approved command area development plans. Is it either logical or necessary to destroy already irrigated prime agricultural lands in dozens of villages?

With more than 50% of the proposed command area already irrigated, the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, in its judgement of November 2009 has clearly stated that agricultural land should not be destroyed for the canals and the network must be reviewed to minimize displacement. Without even extending the benefits of rehabilitation to the canal-affected, as per the Rehabilitation Policy, is it legal to clamp the ‘urgency clause’ for land acquisition and entrap the farmers through forced or deceitful ‘consent letters’? What is the true meaning of the Interim Order of the Supreme Court? What will be the impacts of these huge canals on the agriculture, river, water bodies, tanks and crops in Nimad?

Is Sardar Sarovar proving to be the life-line of even Gujarat or is Narmada the real life line of lakhs of people in the valley?

Main terms of Reference of the Tribunal shall be:

1. Whether the rehabilitation of the Sardar Sarovar and Jobat dam-affected and Indira Sagar, Omkareshwar canal-affected is taking place within the framework of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award, law, rehabilitation policy and Court’s judgments? To what extent land and live-livelihood based rehabilitation has been ensured to the project oustees?

2. What is the level of compliance of the environmental safeguard measures of the SSP and the ISP-OSP Canals vis-à-vis the conditional clearances granted, impacts of non-compliance on the environment, the legal violations involved and action by the central authorities on the findings of the latest Report of the Devender Pandey Expert Committee (2009 & 2010)?

3. What is the actual status and reality of the massive corruption of crores of rupees that has crept into and derailed the entire rehabilitation process and what measures being taken to address the same?

4. Whether there is any basis in law and policy to further the construction of these projects without pari-passu compliance of all the conditions and ensuring full, fair and prior rehabilitation?

5. What is the true status of the costs and benefits of the Sardar Sarovar Project today? Without reviewing the entire Project in the light of the stipulated conditions in the Planning Commission’s clearance (1988) and the present benefits-costs scenario, how can the construction of dam and canals go further?

6. What have been the legal and human rights violations of the project-affected people, over the years and what legal redress must be provided to them and what is the legal responsibility of the project and monitoring authorities?

7. Is it either logical or necessary to destroy already irrigated prime agricultural lands in dozens of river-bank villages? Do alternatives exist, to minimize displacement and save agricultural land? 

The people of Narmada valley, along with the activists and experts shall depose before the Indian / Independent People’s Tribunal. They shall not just point out to the existing problems, but also share their experiences and propose alternatives. The hearing on the Sardar Sarovar Project and the Indira Sagar & Omkareshwar canals shall also be located in the larger context of the questions on the role of the State, democratic processes, development planning, water policy and on the politics around the SSP and other large dams. The farmers, adivasis, potters, fish workers and boatsmen shall also be joined by the experts and intellectuals who shall raise their voice and express their opinions.

The Tribunal shall deliver its verdict through a Report after field-visits, hearing, investigation and detailed analysis of the Projects and all related documents.

Panelists for the Independent / Indian People’s Tribunal:

  1. Hon’ble Justice (Retd.) A.P. Shah, Retired Chief Justice, Delhi and Mumbai High Court
  2. Prof. Imtiaz Ahmad, Noted Social Scientist, Former HoD, Dept of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  3. Dr. Devender Sharma, International Researcher and Agriculture Policy Analyst
  4. Prof. Jaya Sagade, Indian Law Society (Law College), Pune

Venue: Anand Karaj Bhavan, Near Gurudwara, Rajghat Road, Badwani, Madhya Pradesh

Badwani can be reached by road from Khandwa / Dhule / Indore / Baroda railway stations within 4-5 hours. All of you who have been observing the struggle of the people in the valley are welcome to the join in and participate in the hearing process.

Badwani Contact: 07290-222464 / 09179148973

Bhopal Contact: 9009106297

Mumbai Contact: 9820039557

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