Social critic Dr. Sukumar Azhikode said that the anti-Coca Cola struggle at Plachimada is a great contribution to the worldwide struggle against the exploitation of natural resources by corporate giants at the cost of the local people.

Inaugurating the 10th anniversary of the public agitation against the exploitation of groundwater at Plachimada that led to the closure of the bottling unit of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited in 2004, Dr. Sukumar Azhikode said that only through such struggle the problems of the people could be solved in this era of globalization and liberalization.

He said that over the years people have lost even their sensibility to identify their real enemies and it required the Adivasi's sense of intimacy with nature to identify who are the culprits polluting the air, water and earth around them. It was the tribes of Plachimada, who raised their voice against the exploitation of groundwater by the soft drink giant.

He said that the struggle in Plachimada has only reached the gates of success. It will have to continue until the victims are adequately compensated, the ecology restored and the local self government institutions are empowered to manage their natural resources.

The meeting was presided over by Indanur Gopi, Chairman, Anti-Coca Cola Struggle Solidarity Samithy. Vilayodi Venugopal, Chairman, Anti-Coca Cola Struggle Samithy delivered the keynote address.

It was addressed by environmentalist Dr. Faizi, Dr. M. Markandeyan, former Vice-Chancellor of Gandhigram Rural University, Vijayaraghavan Cheliya, General Convenor, Anti-Coca Cola Struggle Solidarity Samithi, Muthalamthode Mani, District Convenor, Anti-Coca Cola Struggle Solidarity Samithy, Dr. P.S. Panikkar of Janajagrath, trade unionist R. Geetha, social activist K.R. Meera among others.

Keywords: Coca Cola

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