Ekta Parishad along with support organisations launched a decisive movement called Jan Satyagrah whose focus was to bring together people’s voices for a ‘National Land Reforms Act & Policy’ as a broad framework and means of land re-distribution to the landless and homeless poor.
To lend a sharp spurt to the movement, a Jan Satyagraha Samwad Yatra was carried out. In a trail of vehicles, it covered more than 80,000 km beginning at the southern coast of Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu on October 2, 2011 and ending in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh on September 17, 2012. This Yatra received tremendous response from the people across the country and more than 2,000 people’s organisations united in support of the rights demanded by the people. More than 1100 people’s gatherings and meetings were held during the course of this Yatra.
As the Yatra progressed, handfuls of soil were collected from various sites, as a symbol of people’s suffering and sense of loss resulting from having been uprooted from their homes, lands and lives. This soil is indeed entwined with the lives of the people who have been, for generations, fighting a battle for survival in the hope that as citizens of free India they will one day have the right to a life with dignity. The Jan Satyagraha in that sense is people’s hopes realised.
This report based on some selected stories of ‘States’ Soil Struggles’ collected during Jan Satyagraha Samwad Yatra, is also an abundant expression of solidarity and broad-based engagement for the land & livelihood rights of the people.
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Authors and Publishers
Ekta Parishad is a non-violent Gandhi-inspired social movement in India working on land and forest rights at a national level. It has been built up over the last twenty years growing from the local, to the state, to the national and increasingly, to the international level. The purpose of mobilizing an increasingly growing, very large group of poor people into a loosely structured, major grassroots movement, has been to put pressure directly on central and state government bodies in order to press for legal reforms and structural change.