On day three of the Medha Patkar-led indefinite satyagraha, the recipients of the Right to Livelihood Award (also known as Alternative Nobel Prize) extended their support those affected in the Narmada valley and appealed the United Nations and the government of India to review the ongoing mega-project.
In a letter to the Narmada Bachao Andolan, 44 Right to Livelihood awardees from 31 nations expressed their solidarity to the movement and pledged their support against unlawful submergence of 244 villages and one township by flooding caused by expansion of the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
"We firmly uphold the inviolable human rights and environmental justice for thousands of families in the Narmada valley," the letter read. "We have also witnessed the people's resistance to the progressive raising of the height of the dam, without adhering to the binding commitments under Indian and international laws to safeguard and rehabilitate the affected farmers, fish workers and potters from unlawful submergence, displacement and pauperization."
The awardees also condemned Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has always supported increasing the dam height by 17 meters up to its final height of 138.68 meters, posing grave threat to the lives and livelihoods of families.
The awardees held that the decision to raise the height of the dam and displace thousands of families, without lawful rehabilitation and recognition of their livelihood rights is not only a serious violation of the law of the land and the judgments of the Supreme Court of India, but also a transgression of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Indigenous and Tribal People's Convention, 1989, of ILO.