02 October 2012

West Bengal Yatra of the Right to Food and Work Campaign flags off

Press Release
2 October 2012

The Right to Food and Work Campaign-West Bengal started today demanding food security for all as part of the nationwide campaign.

In Purulia, the yatra started a day earlier. On 1 October 2012, the rally began at Joynagar bus stand in Purulia 2 Block, where over 250 members of PBKMS and SMS took out a rally in the morning at 9am.
In Hura block, more than 600 members of Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity (PBKMS) and Shramajivee Mahila Samity (SMS) rallied from Lakshmanpur Village in Lakshmanpur Gram Panchayat till Gandhi Maidan where an oath taking ceremony was held where people resolved to keep fighting till their demands on food security are met. People from the neighbouring villages joined in here and the meeting gained in number and strength. From there, a vehicle rally campaigned in a weekly haat.

Today, a padayatra was taken out from Lalpur mor in Hura block of Purulia, where it crossed many villages and crossed to Puncha block, where 2000 agricultural workers and members of PBKMS rallied ending in a public meeting. The second day yatra in this district ended at Pairachali at Manbazar 2, from where it shall convene tomorrow again. The two days in the district has generated much interest among villagers and local media.

A vehicle rally kicked off the campaign in Keshpur block of Paschim Medinipur district. The rally with flags and banners (majority red) was stopped by the ruling political party at three places. TMC members, the ruling party in the block along with other villagers were much interested with the reasons and organisers of the campaign, mistaking us on behalf of the opposition party. Numerous street corner meetings were held, with wall postering and listing of demands. Local TMC members followed the van till they were assured of the objectives and demand of the campaign. As the van crossed Anandapur police station, the Officer-in-charge stopped the van and asked for a permission, which even after it was showed to them, asked the yatra to leave for 'security' concerns and followed us under the garb of 'protection' till we left the block. Even after all the odds, the yatra ended at 5pm, only to be continued tomorrow.

In Nadia district, a pathasabha (padayatra) was taken out in Dhubulia in Krishnagar 2 Block. Members of PBKMS and (SMS took out a rally which crossed through the main streets of the town. A lot of interest was generated by the shopkeepers and some joined in as the rally passed. Another public meeting is being held in Pukhuria village in Chapra block from where the yatra will again commence tomorrow.

For more details, please contact:

Saradindu Biswas        
Ph: 9433342488         

Please find below a list of participating organisations in every district:

New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI), Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity (PBKMS), Rural Development Society, Shramajivee Mahila Samity (SMS) and Udayani Social Action Forum
Uthnau and one more
PHE Workers Union and Udayani Social Action Forum
North Bengal Right to Food Campaign
Joint Bagan Bachao Progress Committee and People Progressive Plantation Workers Union
Griha Adhikar Manch, Haathgacchiya Basti Unnayan Committee, Jiban o Jeebika Uchhed Protirodh Committee (Prostuti), Nari Sanghati Committee (Boral), NTUI, Right Track, Tiljala Shed and Udayini Social Action Forum
Malda Sahayogita Samity
MASUM and PHE Workers union
APDR, Bidi Sramik Union-Tehotta, PBKMS, PHE Workers Union, NTUI and SMS
North 24 Parganas
APDR, NTUI, PBKMS, SMS and Shramajivee Samanvay Committee,
Paschim Medinipur
Majhi Jagran Kalyan Samiti, PBKMS, NTUI, SMS and one more
South 24 Parganas
Gosaba Anwesha for Science, NTUI, PBKMS, SMS, Sundarban Bonadhikar Sangram Committee and Udayani Social Action Forum

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