Hiremath talks about challenges facing India

A group of MIT students

A group of MIT students

BOSTON : Association for India’s Development (AID), Boston and MIT chapters presented another very informative and education lecture by S. R. Hiremeth on Friday June 3 at MIT campus.

The event was attended by MIT scholars, students, and AID’s members from the Greater Boston area. Nitin Gujaran, Treasurer of AID Boston chapter, welcomed the audience to the event along with his brief introduction of an eminent speaker of the evening.

Hiremath is a political and environmental activist from Dharwad, Karnataka who worked ceaselessly for over 35 years for promoting people oriented policies, legislations, and protecting the rights of rural and tribal poor over the natural resources and bringing about participatory and deliberative democracy through non-violence, trasperancy, and self-reliance. He spoke on the thoughtful topic, ‘Whither, India? Where the nation is headed, its challenges and how do we deal with them.’

He talked elaboratively on the challenges in the political, social, and economic spheres with focus on the marginalized communities, their livelihoods and their role in democracy.He talked about his relentless fight against the illegal mining mafia that took place in Karnataka and successfully challenged many political and government executives associated with illegal mining.

He narrated how he had accumulated enough evidence by making several field trips to the Bellary area, and procured incriminating documents that revealed plunder of natural resources on an unprecedented scale and succeeded in his efforts for social justice.

He said that in his anti-illegal mining campaign, he faced many threats and challenges as part of his work. He also talked about future farming on a larger scale by pooling together small land holdings along with other occupations like agriculture, animal husbandry and sheep or goat rearing, for the development of the region, state, and the nation.

Hiremath observed that if we ignore what happens around us, it grows huge, unhealthier and spreads its impact to the entire community.

It is therefore, necessary to create awareness among the people as to the ill-effects of exploitative practices, provide training for the concerned persons of Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) to handle challenges, hold media campaign to mobilize widespread public opinion against the irregularities and illegalities, and to take measures for protecting the livelihood of local people, the ecology and environment of the region.

Audience showed lot of curiosity in knowing more about the sustainability approaches and empowerment of rural poor in the Q and A session.

Nitin moderated this session meticulously. He also thanked Shri Hiremath and Smt. Shyamala Hiremath for coming over to Boston and enlightening the audience about the present situations in India in general and Karnataka in particular. He also thanked the audience for their interest and making this event successful.

Geetha Patil