Around 200 protesters greeted delegates on the first day of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) summit that kick-started at Greater Noida’s India Expo Centre on Thursday.
Trade unions, farmers and activists from different states in Indian and 13 other countries were up in arms and called the ADB as ‘anti-human destructive bank’.
The 46th ADB summit was attended by 4,000 delegates from 67 countries. Protesters marched towards the venue shouting anti-ADB slogans. However, the police stopped them about 1 km away from the expo centre. The activists then gathered at the YMCA building in the vicinity and decided to carry on with their agitation until May 5, the last day of the four-day summit.
Local farmers angry with the Uttar Pradesh government’s anti-farmer policies also joined the protest against ADB, which plans to invest in Greater Noida’s infrastructure like roads, water, power and industrial townships.
The police detained leaders of farmers in their respective villages on Thursday morning to weaken the protest.
“ADB’s agenda is to bring privatisation in sectors like water, electricity, education and infrastructure projects such as roads and industries to earn profits for rich countries like America. The Indian government wants to get rid of its social responsibilities through privatisation. We will not let it happen because the coming generations of poor and the middle class will have to pay the debt, which the Indian government is borrowing from ADB,” said Sunilam, head of Kisan
Sangharsh Samiti, from Madhya Pradesh.
“ADB is funded by international financial institutions. It is controlled by elites, who want to usurp land, water and other natural resources for monetary gains.
They will loot the public exchequer and cause harm to our environment. We should protest against ADB because they want to rule the poor and the middle class people,” said Medha Patkar addressing the protesters at YMCA.
“In the name of urban development, ADB is supporting programmes which are a threat to the urban poor and farmers,” said a protester.