Ganga Mukti Andolan

Ganga Mukti Andolan
The Small and Traditional Fishing Communities 
Starts Regrouping in the Ganga Basin and
Reclaim Their Right to Water and Fish Resources
*  *  *
Jal Shramik Sangha to Join in NPSSFW(I) 

At the call of Ganga Mukti Andolan more than 500 small and traditional fishers and fish vendors assembled on the bank of Ganga at Kahelgaon, Bihar on 22nd February 2020 to take stock of the situation and decide upon strategies for moving forward. Members of Jal Shramik Sangh, the fish worker wing of Ganga Mukti Andolan participated in the meeting. National Alliance of Peoples' Movements (NAPM) and National Platform for Small Scale Fish Workers (Inland) also joined in the programme. 

Ramsharan Singh, Veteran leader of Ganga Mukti Andolan chaired the meeting. He requested all participants to resolutely move ahead to protect Ganga and the livelihood of fishing communities. Pradip Chatterjee, Convener of National Platform for Small Scale Fish Workers (Inland) stressed the fishing communities' right to water and said that without this primary and basic right the fishing communities cannot survive. 

Soumen Ray, veteran trade unionist and National Coordinator of NPSSFW(I) said that the fishers, fish farmers and fish vendors are all included in the category of unorganised worker.  He spoke of the mission of NPSSFW(I) and called upon the fishing communities to strengthen the National Platform as their organisation. Sanjay Mangala Gopal, National Convener of NAPM conveyed NAPM's support to the struggle of Ganga Mukti Andolan to protect and restore river Ganga. He said that Narmada Bachao Andolan and Ganga Mukti Andolan are struggles to save the rivers and the life and livelihood of peoples dependent on rivers. 

Many fishing community leaders including Rampujan Singh, Yogendra Sahni, Sagar Sahni spoke about the ecological disaster of Ganga due to pollution, diversion of water, dams and heavy water transport. They also mentioned the threat to the livelihood of fishers from the Dolphin Sanctuary. Veteran activist Udayji read out a 14 Point Charter of Demand for discussion and adoption. Later a Boat Race, a Boat Rally and a ceremonial offering of lamps to the Ganga were held to assert fishing communities' right to protect Ganga and to sustainable use of riverine fish resources.

On 24th February 2020 the Executive Body of Ganga Mukti Andolan including leaders of Jal Shramik Sangh met to decide on future course of action. Pradip Chatterjee and Soumen Ray, the Convener and National Coordinator of NPSSFW(I) were invited to the meeting. A number of decisions (details of the decisions attached) were taken regarding organisational positions and programmes which included:

  • Position on Dolphin Sanctuary;
  • Meeting / Workshop regarding Protected Area (Dolphin Sanctuary) in Ganga;  
  • Meeting / Workshop regarding regarding Inland Waterways in Ganga;  
  • Ganga Mukti Andolan Sammelan at Patna; 
  • Replenishment of Fish Stock in Ganga;  
  • Jal Adhikar Yatra (Boat Campaign on Ganga);
  • Employment of Fisher People in river transport, rescue and relief operations;
  • Participation of Jal Shramik Sangha in NPSSFW(I).               

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