Hunger strike On 28th March, 2006, Medha went on a hunger strike, in protest of the decision taken by the authorities, to increase the height of the Narmada dam. The strike continued for a long period of 20 days and finally came to an end on April 17, 2006. The Supreme Court rejected the plea of Narmada Bachao Andolan to stop the construction of the dam. To know the complete life history of Medha Patkar, read on. Detainment by Police On December 2, 2006, Medha was arrested by the police at Singur in West Bengal, for her active 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. Foreign Fund and Anti-National Activities The Madhya Pradesh Government alleged the Narmada Bachao Andolan of receiving foreign funds and using them for unclear purposes. They claimed that, the money that was obtained was being used by the organization to hamper the rehabilitation process. During the early nineties Medha Patkar started gaining national and international attention for her efforts in the movement. Awards and Honors •She was a recipient of Right Livelihood Award (1991) M. A. Thomas National Human Rights Award (1999) •Deena Nath Mangeshkar Award •Mahatma Phule Award •Goldman Environment Prize •Green Ribbon Award •Human Rights Defender’s Award Biography Medha Patkar (Marathi: ???? ????? , born December 1, 1954) is a Indian social activist. She is known for her role in Narmada Bachao Andolan. Medha Patkar is a well known social activist of India. She was born on 1st December in the year 1954 in Mumbai, India to Indu and Vasant Khanolkar, a trade union.  She was raised by politically and socially active parents. Her father ctively fought in the Indian Independence Movement. Medha’s mother was a member of Swadar, an organization setup to help and assist women suffering difficult circumstances arising out of financial, educational, and health related problems. Her parents’ activism played a role in shaping her philosophical views.. Prior to becoming a social reformer, she completed her M. A. in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). She left Ph. D. in the midst and got actively involved in the agitations conducted by tribals and peasants of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
This paved way for the formation of the organization named Narmada Bachao Andolan. Narmada Bachao Andolan began as a fight for information about the Narmada Valley Development Projects and continued as a fight for just rehabilitation for the lakhs of people to be ousted by the Sardar Sarovar Dam and other large dams along the Narmada river. Eventually when it became clear that the magnitude of the project precluded accurate assessment of damages and losses, and that rehabilitation was impossible, the movement challenged the very basis of the project and questioned its claim to “development. . Veteran of several fasts, monsoon satyagrahas on the banks of the rising Narmada, her uncompromising insistence on the right to life and livelihood has compelled the post-Independence generation in India as well as around the world to revisit the basic questions of natural resources, human rights, environment, and development. Facing police beatings and many jail terms on the way, she continues to believe in the best of people and the democratic system. She has won over police and even government officers through her simple faith in justice and comprehensive analysis of the facts.
She has served as a Commissioner to the World Commission on Dams, Taking up a two-pronged approach of sangharsh (struggle) and nirman (constructive work), Medha tai has worked with villagers and community groups to develop alternatives in energy, water harvesting, and education for tribal children. The Reva Jeevanshala, using both state and local syllabus taught by local teachers in the local language, is a system of 9 residential schools and 4 day-schools in the tribal villages of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
Highlights : Medha Patkar . She built foundation of human rights movement in India through Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA). NBA – started as a fight to seek information about the Narmada Valley Development Projects has inspired numerous human rights movements in India and worldwide ever since. Adding entirely different dimension to leadership Sangharsh (struggle) and Nirman (constructive Work) Medha Patkar brings up a broader vision to seek micro-to-macro, local-to-global linkage.
As a result of her dualistic thinking and acting, she helped create National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM) – a collaboration of various organizations across India to collectively organize around issues like, globalization, neoliberalism, and sustainable development. However, one of her greatest rewards came in 1995 from the Supreme Court of India. Previously, in 1994 Supreme Court gave permission to increase height of the dam on Narmada river in some areas.
NBA filed a petition to stop construction of the dam on the grounds of its inconsistent economic planning, severe environmental hazards and lack of rehabilitation plan for the citizens whose livelihoods were connected to that land. Supreme Court, in 1995, ruled in favour of NBA by stopping construction until Government could come up with a coherent plan. However, NBA’s work is relentlessly going on by supporting the villages and communities in that area with alternative energy, education, water harvesting and several other things. And this inspirational journey of M