Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Vikas Khojo Yatra. November 29 to December 10; Gujarat, 2017

Vikas Khojo Yatra
29th November- 10th December 
Gujarat, 2017

Day 7: 5th Dec: Village Kadoli, Sabarkantha District
The Ockhi cyclone approaching Gujarat got heavy rainfall in many areas that the yatra had planned to cover. With the temperature dipping, it became difficult for people, especially women to gather in public spaces. The yatra rescheduled its route and reached Kadoli, a small village in the Sabarkantha district in the evening, instead of heading towards Surat, where the weather conditions are poor. Here village elders, women and youth gathered, despite the bad weather, to listen to the students on the yatra. 

During the interaction, a woman got up say that the small corruption in the state is not done by individuals, its been pushed by the system. The government pushes people down that lane. She shared that her son is a police constable. He is a graduate but has been getting paid only Rs. 8,000 per month, which is so low that he can't even support a family in the city. She asked if the government is not forcing him to become corrupt? She asked is this vikas that they have bargained for ?

Day 6: 4th Dec: Mahesana: 
The yatra covered Mahesana, the home constituency of the Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat, Nitinbhai Patel. The yatra performed at the gathering in the main Toranvali Mata chowk of Mahesana, Dhangandra basti and then at the Sajjan pur village near Mahesana. Even with Mahesana been a stronghold of current government, people gathered to speak of lack of jobs, rising price, problems of GST and devastating effect of demonetisation. At the end of the meetings, people pledged to uproot the present corrupt government from Gujarat in the upcoming elections. 

Day 5: 3rd Dec: Sunder Nagar:
The yatra reached Sunder Nagar today. Sunder nagar is a district headquarter about 220 km from Amreli. In Sunder nagar, the yatra performed in Haripur Colony, Malwan Village and finally at Sajjan Pur. At every meeting, large number of women and youth gathered. They shared their miseries about poor state of agriculture and government's complete ignorance of the poor and marginalised. 

In one of the meeting, a woman stood up to share that they as farmers love their land the most, but when it comes to catering to the needs of their children, they are left helpless. Her son, wanted to study so they sold their land to send him to a private college in the city. They sold their precious piece of land in the hope that one day the son will finish his education and will get a job. The land will no longer be needed to feed them, their son's job will. But now, the son has returned with a degree which can't get him a job. He runs a small tea stall in the city. 

At the end of the meetings, all gathered pledged by the Constitution of India and by the 6 crore people of Gujarat and that they will expose the government that has cheated them in the name of development and filled coffers of Ambani's and Adani's, and make sure they are defeated in the upcoming elections. 

Day 4: 2nd Dec: Amreli:
The yatra travelled from Rajkot to reach Amreli today. Amreli is a small town about 112 km from Rajkot. In Amreli, the yatra performed first at the main Amreli Bazaar Chowk. The performance of the youth attracted a significant crowd, who participated in the discussion that unfolded post the street theatre. Mostly from the business community, the people gathered shared how their business was affected due to the recent policies of the government. Demonetisation and GST has severely affected their livelihood and the market is at its lowest. They shared that they are also wondering who's Vikas is this? Next, the yatra moved to the Railway Colony Ground. Here again there was a significant crowd gathered to listen to the youth signing the vikas khojo song. As they sang, where they asked that vikas has gone missing and they are looking for it all over, people clapped and cheered. The session ended with youth pledging to find true vikas and standing up against deprivation and exploitation. 

 Day 3: 1st Dec: Rajkot
Today the truck yatra first reached Jamnagar Medical College and Commerce College in the morning. Next it travelled to Rakjot and performed at the main chowk of Rakjot. Post which it went on to address a women's meeting at Swaminathan Hall near the Zila Panchayat office. Women spoke of their disappointment with the present government and at the end of the meeting pledged to defeat the government that has fooled them for so long. 

Day 2 : 30th Nov: Jamnagar: 
The truck yatra travelled from Porbander to reach Jamnagar today. In Jamnagar the yatra travelled to different parts of the city and finally stopped to perform at the main chowrah of Jamnagar. They performed the street theatre, distributed pamphlets and engaged with people with the message. The crowd then pledged to rise up against injustice and vote for true development. 

Day 1: 29th Nov: Porbander: 
The Vikas Khojo Yatra was flagged off from Porbander on 29th Nov, 2017. After which the yatra travelled to different parts of the city stopping to talk to people. The yatra stopped at the chowpati area of Porbander last evening and later today morning at the Kamla Nehru Chowrah, where they performed the nukkad natak known as 'vikas khojo' . This play showcases the true face of development of Gujarat. Through the theatre the youth ask the audience if lack of jobs, slumping of business, lack of security for women, lack of livelihood for the poor is the Vikas that they as people of Gujarat want ? At the end of the play, the youth burnt their degrees as a symbol of protest against the development model that has only robbed the common citizen of their rights and life. Finally all gathered to pledge that they will all make sure that they rise up in the face of this model that has only brought deprivation and exploitation

Please help support the students and youth as they question the present narrative of development and stand up against the chilling silence in the face of fear. Lend your support by spreading the word, join them at the campaign and contribute to their struggle. 

Please contact: 9713895923