17 Oct 2003

Our land struggle

17th October is  World Livelihood Day. And nearly two months before we (People's Action For Rural Awakening,  Ravulapalem, East Godavari Dt.)) had decided that today in all the districts we
work we will appropriate land for the poor especially the dalit bahujans.

By 11.00 am I had been informed or I had checked with our district units that in 10 of the districts our union members had entered land and set in the process of appropriating designated ( by us ) land.

For a start we wanted to begin with lands that were least controversial or lands where there will not be confrontation with local land lords.

In East Godavari where Don Bosco's Social Action Initiative (PARA)
operates we entered in a stretch of 200 lanka land ( land created by accretion during flood).

In the event was peaceful for the day. But I guess in a couple of days there will be orders  from the revenue authorities to stay out of the land because of pressure from dominant caste communities
through their political leaders. But the union is prepared for the long haul - mass action, advocacy, lobbying, legal struggle.

Wishes the strength and determination.Didn't a prophetica voice say " the POOR shall POSSES the EARTH?"

Thomas Pallithanam
Director  People's Action For Rural Awakening
Ravulapalem 533238 East Godavari District
Andhra Pradesh India
tel: mobile:  +91 8855 255010    +91 9849036260

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