UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Government folds to farmers' demands
Villagers' victory after neck-deep water protestVolunteers clean villagers after they emerge from the water
- ucanews.com reporter, Bhopal
- September 12, 2012
Farmers inÂ Khandwa district stood neck-deep in waterÂ demanding land for more than 300 affected villagers. Each displaced family was entitled to a minimum of two hectares, said Alok Agarwal, an activist from Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which was spearheading the protest.
"This is definitely a victorious moment for us in terms of our immediate needs,"Â he said.
According to government policy and a law laid down by the Supreme Court of India, the state government must ensure the resettlement of the displaced villagers.
â€śThe government failed to do so, forcing us to undertake the protest,â€ť Agarwal said.
They were also demanding a reduction in the water level of Omkareshwar dam on the Narmada river from 190.8 meters to 189 meters.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan agreed to the demands after a meeting on Monday with representatives of the affected families, led by Bharatiya Janata Party legislatorÂ Lokendra Singh Tomar.
The government will allocate land to the villagers within 90 days, Chauhan said. HeÂ also announced a five-member committee to hear the grievances of the displaced people.
The federal government has said it will send a team of observers to the dam site, andÂ the state's Human Rights Commission directed the state government not to raise the water level and warned of action if anyone was killed during the protest.
The government had planned to raise the water level to generate adequate hydropower from the 520 MW Omkareshwar project and extend irrigation facilities to an additional 20,000 hectares of land.
Meanwhile, villagers in the state's Harda district were not as successful. They were forcibly evicted from a 15-day-old water protest today.
They are demanding water level reductions atÂ another dam on the river.
Controversial damÂ´s water reaches drought-hit region, but all not happy