Samwad Yatra Report, Day 61: Satara and Sangli (Maharashtra).

In Satara, the Team visited the ‘samadhi’ of Dr B R Ambedkar’s mother at the outskirts of the city and paid homage. A meeting was then organized at the Bhimbhai Ambedkar Sanstha Pratishtan by local voluntary organizations. Local leaders and social activists had participated. The meeting was followed by a press meeting. The meeting helped the Yatra team to get an idea of the overall issues of Satara district.  The district receives very low rainfall (462mm), however on the contorary as a followup action, very little has taken place on the government end. The forest land issues continue. The organizations have planned a Morcha of farmers on the 28th of this month against the negligence of government in Western Maharshtra that includes Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Pune districts. They feel that powerful politicians all have the irrigated land but others have nothing. Poverty is related to the caste structure, still the Zamindars own large areas of land.

In Satara, a patta for 308722 acres of land was given to the Mahar community as Maharavatta land as per 1956 Maharvatta Evolution Act. All of this land is barren.

In the afternoon, the team had a meeting with college students of Ganpatrao Arwade College of Commerce in Sangli. It was organized by Economics Association and Planning Forum. Rajagopalji explained to them the objective of this Yatra and the nonviolent method of struggle. He also mentioned about the Gandhian principle of Gram Swaraj and the Talisman. He said that India has moved its attention from people centered development to profit centered development. He quoted Gandhiji and Vivekanada. The speech could instill a new vision into the young minds.

Later in the evening the Team attended a press meeting and a meeting with a network of local voluntary organizations. Each one of them appreciated the struggle Ekta Parishad had taken up for a larger cause and extended their whole hearted support to Jansatyagraha 2012. Some of them were concerned about the ineffectiveness of the government to the struggles of voluntary organizations as most of those ended up in promises.       

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