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"Water not a commodity but a right"

The World Water Conference began here on Wednesday declaring that "water is not a commodity but a right."

india Updated: Jan 22, 2004 18:18 IST

The World Water Conference began here on Wednesday declaring that "water is not a commodity but a right."

Inaugurating a get-together of literatuers and artistes as a prelude to seminars and interactions during the three-day event, Jnanpith laureate MT Vasudevan Nair called upon the people to resist attempts for 'cultural conquests by foreign forces.'

The multinationals which had struck their roots in several countries had come to enjoy a position to dictate who should rule the country, Nair said.

"There can be substitute for food. But there can be no substitute for water. No one has any right to exploit human needs. Justifiable existence of human beings can not be pledged to multinationals," he said.

Noted critic and academic Dr Sukumar Azhikode, Mathrubuhumi Managing Director and INS president M P Veerendrakumar, novelist Sara Joseph and lyricist Kaithapram Damodran Namboodiri were among those present.

The pandal for the venue was put up just in front of the Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Ltd, facing the charge of over exploitation of ground water in the area depriving the local people of drinking water.

Various political and voluntary organisations demonstrated outside the venue pledging support to the meet.

Social and environmental activists, representatives of resistance groups from different parts of the world and writers and academics are participating in the meet.

First Published: Jan 22, 2004 18:14 IST