Date: 21 Octobeter KARWAN met People of Kanpur & Lucknow
Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign(SSSC) has organized a Jan Caravan from Jammu to Imphal to support Irom Sharmila, a Manipuri poet and activist who has been on a fast for 11 years for repeal of AFSPA.
The Caravan of around 25 people reached Kanpur on 21st October 2011. Local activities was organized by Mahesh Bhai of Asha Parivar. The caravan was welcomed by hundreds of civil rights activists, the Student Islamic Organization and the general public. The Caravan then marched till the Bharat Mata Chowk.
A public meeting was held at the Harihar Shastri Bhawan. The speakers included noted hindi writer andPadmashree recipient Giriraj Kishore told that democracy needs such brave steps from the side of public. He told that I can understand that 4500 km. journey is not so easy and in spite of that courage of the karwan people show that people are there in society who want to work without any desire of advantage. He told that he is very fortunate to welcome such a group of people.
Mahesh Bhai of Asha Parivar told that we all in asha parivar welcome all such initiatives that focus on values. Values of democracy, peace and justice are most required to live the life without fear. Faisal Khan informed that karwan has covered 7 cities till now and going ahead without fear. we all believe that ignorance is not a soluation and thus government should initiate a positive dialogue of peace with Irom Sharmila as soon as possible. Arvind Skhrwal added that in a democracy, everyone has the right to raise their voice and get heard. We will fight for our demand that is start of talk with Irom.
The Kanpur event saw an amazing response and renewed the hopes.
Karwan then moved towards Lucknow, where it was welcomed at Central Academy by hundreds of students and parents of a school. A press meet cum public meeting was being organized at auditorium of Central Academy, Ashiana, Lucknow.
Noted activist and Megsesay awardee Dr. Sandeep Pandey was also present there and told that students should get involved in social issues through all available means . parents should also focus on all round development of their wards and here it becomes very important to teach them about happenings in society. Irom Sharmila’s struggle has become a symbol of peaceful protest. She has ecvery right to be heard and government must listen and talk with her as soon as possible.
Advocate Shoaib of lucknow, who is also famous for their fight for social causes, told that the law (AFSPA) violates the basic human rights.
Retired Colonel Kulbhushan Avadh told that even many army personals want to repeal the law because general people start hate with army persons and live in fear. People to people relation should based on co existence without fear. We all appeal with government to start the talk with Irom Ji. Irom’s fight not for herself but for the people, for the land, for the democracy.
Bobby Ramakant told that people were not aware about Irom, but only after start of this campaign, gradually awareness is spreading. Now, anyone who know about Irom, supports her. Her sacrifice is so big and peaceful that no one can question on that. We all should apread this awareness among others too to support her.
Other karwan people told that this journey filled their hearts with joy and tears. They told that they met with people of various states, with varying culture but they found that everywhere, love is common. They all loved us, supported us and we all are very thankful for them. We hope that this campaign must bring the change in government’s attitude.
It is noted that Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign launched a nationwide protest to support Irom Sharmila and this campaign has its specific demands. After start of its first Nationwide Signature Campaign, now campaign started its journey from Srinagar to Imphal that is a 4500 km journey and will travel through 10 states for spreading awareness among people and then to get their support for demands of the campaign.
Demands of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign are : To start positive steps of talk with Irom and to listen her demand seriously, to send all party delegation to Manipur to meet Irom and people of Manipur and to send members of NWC/NHRC to investigate cases of atrocities.