No different rally

Rallies organised by the Narmada Bachao Andolan leader, Medha Patkar, are different. They attract people from various walks of life, from students to activists and environmentalists.

It was no different as the `Desh Bachao, Desh Banao' rally organised by the National Alliance of People's Movement (NAPM) reached Kochi on Tuesday.

The rally which began from Plachimada, Palakkad, on January 26 will reach Ayodhya on March 30. Patkar is accompanied by a batch of 21 students and a teacher from the Salsabeel Central School, Mundur, Thrissur. The vibrant batch of students shouted slogans like `Rajyathe Rakshikku, Rajyathe Nirmikku'. The students say that they joined the march in an effort to learn about the ground realities and hardships faced by the common man.

Devaram Bhai is another popular figure in the rally. As a firebrand leader of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, Bhai spoke vigorously on the need to fight the political system. He was also eloquent on the issue of privatising natural resources in the country. "Our feelings are the same. And we should fight unitedly against the system,'' he said.

Like her previous visits, Patkar had a tight schedule in the city. She visited the Kuzhikandam creek and took stock of the environmental pollution in the region. Later, she had an interaction with students at the Maharaja's college. In the evening, she joined the agitation organised by the Carbon Malineekarana Virudha Samity at Karimugal.

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