Uttarakhand > Personalities of Uttarakhand - उत्तराखण्ड की महान/प्रसिद्ध विभूतियां

राधा बहन- एक जुझारु महिला / Radha Bhatt

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पंकज सिंह महर:

गांधी जी की ६० वीं पुण्य दिथि पर राधा बहन का संदेश

पंकज सिंह महर:
She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005

Radha Bhatt’s work in the picturesque but poor Himalayan foothills is a canny combination of progressive ideas and Gandhian ideals-and they have functioned wonderfully. She is working for the Kasturba National Memorial Trust (KNMT), which received NGO Consultative Status (II) by the UN.
This Instutute of Social Studies Trust ISST, has conducted over the years several pioneering research studies, with a view of designing alternative development strategies that recognise the role and contribution of vulnerable groups, including women.

From protesting against the raw deal uneducated women in the Uttaranchal Himalayas are handed out to become one of the best known social and political activists in the country - that has been Radha Bhatt’s journey over the past 70 - odd years. Along the way, she has tackled alcoholism among men in Uttaranchal, the empowerment of women, the Chipko (tree-hugging) movement, open mining on the fragile Uttaranchal highlands, and has been part of the nationwide protest against big dams.

She is part of the trainers of the first workshop organised by Friends of Tibet (INDIA) on ‘Non-Violence & Social Action’ (Rangzen Workshop Series) with the theme: ‘Non-Violence, Spirituality and Community Action’ by Radha Bhatt. She is part time teacher at the Bhavan Institute of Indian Art and Culture. And she gives also courses in workshops of organic farming.

The Hunger Project’s Work in India - Chair Radha Bhatt: The Hunger Project has been working for some time in the Anjani and Amvar villages of the extremely remote tribal district of Mandla.

In Anjani village, the council has formed a women’s organization for health, education and income generation. At the Amvar cluster of villages, the council is working with the people to gain access to water and a market road. As there are virtually no voluntary organizations in this district, the field work is being carried out in partnership with the Madhya Pradesh Institute of Socio-Economic Studies, and is focusing on improvements in delivery of health and education services.

One of its extreme disadvantages has been the lack of any access road. The villagers have to travel on foot for at least 10 kms on a muddy track to reach the market for the purchase of basic items or even to gain access to any kind of transport system. The Hunger Project brought the district collector and the block development officers to this area, and they immediately sanctioned a road to be constructed, which is now complete. Recently, the first steps were taken to expand SPIA into five additional blocks in partnership with five highly respected NGOs in those areas.

The Union Minister for Environment & Forests Shri T.R. Baalu presenting the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar-1994 (Award)to Smt. Radha Bhatt for outstanding contribution in the field of Environmental Protection, forest conservation and reclamation of mined land, at a function in New Delhi on September 19, 2000.

Radha Bhatt, dedicated to the Gandhian vision, lives out spirituality as a much needed source of nourishment in her daily life. She runs Lakshmi Ashram in Kausani in Uttar Pradesh, India. “Gandhiji wanted this institution set up,” she explains, “to awaken the hidden shakti of hill women, I came here as a young girl to study. Now, I teach girls from remote villages.
She says: “The day begins with a morning prayer and spinning. The schoolgirls spin as they pray together. Then there are classes and practical work. Satyagraha (upholding the truth) and sarvodaya (the upliftment of all) involve integration of the various elements of the self—the spiritual with the mundane.” For Bhatt, this is a family, connected by bonds deeper than the blood ties.

पंकज सिंह महर:
Smt Radha Bhatt:

Woman leader of the Chipko, the well-known environmental movement based in the hills of Uttarakhand, India and a regional women's network from the Hindu Kush Himalayas. Radha Bhatt has presented various papers which examines the social context of these environmental movements; especially reasons for the proactive role women played and continue to play, also the presence of Van Panchayat(s) in the hills and the reasons for their inability to manage community forest lands.

पंकज सिंह महर:
Written by Radha Bhatt, Gandhi Peace Foundation     
Monday, 30 June 2008 

I start my submission with a quotation written by Mahatma Gandhi, which was published in one of his magazines, Harijan Sewak, on 23.06.1946 on page number 186-87.

"Today people in West speak of Jesus but in fact their lives are being guided by the inspiration which is totally against Jesus.  Just as in the same way there are people who talk of Islam but in reality they follow the "Shaitan."  This is the miserable position of we people believing in religion (I would like to add that the same contradictory lives are being led by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains etc.).

"If the people would have followed God, the corruption, violence and exploitation which is prevailed today in the society, would have withered away completely.  At present the rich are growing richer, while the poor are being pushed down to become ever poorer.  Everywhere the cruel game of hunger, nakedness and death is being played.  These are not the symptoms of God's world, but are the signs of the empire of "Shaitan or Ravana" and the elements against Jesus.
We cannot bring God's kingdom on the earth by repeating this name only by our lips.  Our work and life practices should be according to God, not to "Shaitan."

"When the kingdom of God will prevail in the hearts of the people, then only they will be free of anger and violence."  Mahatma Gandhi Harijan Sewak 20.04.1947, page 406.

These beautiful quotations on religion and the violence give such a clear direction on which we could make our search for a way out from the present violent situations.

The violence in the world right now is in two forms, first is the visible form, wars among different nations, terrorism spread all over the world, clashes between different ethnic groups and communal riots among the different faiths.  But there is also invisible violence which has become part and parcel of our social structure.  To some extent this structural violence is the root cause of the visible violence of wars, terrorism and communal riots too.  On the other hand, the religions have also forgotten the original values of their religion, which was given to them by the prophets or the enlightened ones.  It is like this funny story told by the people in India.  Somebody was given the nectar (religion) in a golden cup to drink.  He drank the nectar and became immortal but the other who came behind him took his golden cup and considered it the religion holding the cup strongly in their arms and fighting to other faiths, "Our golden cup (religion) is the best to reach God."  So, though, not a single religion had ever shown a single small path of violence in their doctrines, in practice so much blood had been shaded in the past and present in the name of religion.

In fact the religion is above and over to those traditional formalities which in due time had developed according to the different geography, climate and cultural conditions.   I should say that religion is the inner and practical quest of the human beings which reflects in their lifestyles and brings them closer and closer to their spiritual truth and at least makes them one with that permanent bliss.  This truth could be called the almighty spirit, the creator of this cosmos or give it the name of God.  This truth is equally based in the center of every faith.  This single similarity is a strong chain which brings every religion in one destiny and our responsibility towards humanity.  If religions see their souls in this new outlook instead of their traditional dogmatic outer frames, every religion will become the messenger of nonviolence.

If we go deep into concept and practice of the religion truly, it is as open as the sky and as vast as the earth.  There are no geographic boundaries and human limitations to it.  All the faiths like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism etc are the different paths to reach to the same goal, which is the truth or the peace.  The peace of mind, the peace in human society, the peace in the nature around the Globe and beyond it the peace of Sun, Moon, stars and those planets circling around each other.

So why do we think of peace only to humans, why should not it be for whole creation?  This is the right essence of the religion, which can be able to combat the violence.  The massage in this context is very powerful given in the Vedas.  The "Rishi" of Vedas sings the "Mantra" like this

"shun na surya Uruchaksha Udetu"     Source Rigveda

"We pray for the peace to the Sun, which is the very source of life and energy to this globe.  We wish peace to all directions.  We wish peace to the mountains that they stand permanently as the North Star does.  We wish peace to the oceans, rivers and the vegetation all over the world."

Thus the religions have to hug the whole creation with everlasting love and combat the violence forced by its followers, namely the human beings.  Then the religions will fulfill their definition which is given in old Sanskrit scripts as -

"Dharaynti iti Dharma." Dharma or religion is that which holds the life on the earth.

Now in this august gathering, I would humbly ask all of you to ponder while believing on our religions, we do not become the part of the system which is spoiling the air and waters, ruining the oceans and forests just for human luxuries.  We are also the part of the pollution in the rivers and waters and soil.  Ultimately the earth and the sun are also adversely affected by all what the humans are doing in the name of progress and development around the Globe.  The human is trying to win the nature instead of living with it in a friendly relation.  This is violence and unreligious act by the religious human. If we change this with a religious understanding that will prove  a true combat against violence.  I should say if the religions become so broadbased, certainly the wars and terrorism etc would be combated.       

साभार- www.worldpeaceforum.net

पंकज सिंह महर:
चिपको, शराबबंदी और उत्तराखंड आंदोलन में सक्रिय भूमिका निभाने वाली और गांधी शांति प्रतिष्ठान की अध्यक्ष राधा भट्ट इन दिनों राज्यव्यापी नदी बचाओ अभियान में सक्रिय हैं। उनके नेतृत्व में उत्तराखंड में इस साल (नदी बचाओ अभियान वर्ष) मनाया जा रहा है। इस अभियान के बारे में आपसे बातचीत:

-आपके अभियान में प्रदेश के कितने संगठन सक्रिय हैं और वे किस तरह इस मुहिम को मजबूत बनाने में जुटे हुए हैं?

इस अभियान में उत्तराखंड राज्य की दो दर्जन से अधिक संस्थाएं और संगठन जुड़े हुए हैं। उनके स्वयंसेवक अपनी-अपनी घाटियों में आमजनों के साथ मिलकर स्थितियों का अध्ययन कर रहे हैं। सरकार तक लोगों की समस्याओं को पहुंचाने में लगे हैं। धरना-सत्याग्रह में जुड़ रहे हैं और नदी बचाने के लिए वृक्षारोपण करने में लगे हैं। इसके अलावा जंगलों को आग से बचाने और चाल-खाल बनाने में जुटे हुए हैं।

- अभियान का एक प्रतिनिधिमंडल आपके नेतृत्व मे प्रदेश के मुख्यमंत्री से मिल चुका है। उन्होंने आंदोलनकारियों को क्या आश्वासन दिया है?

प्रतिनिधिमंडल मुख्यमंत्री से जनवरी की राज्यव्यापी पदयात्रा के दौरान उन सब मुद्दों को लेकर मिला था, जो उत्तराखंड में जल संवर्धन और नदियों के संरक्षण के लिए लोगों की ओर से उठाए गए थे। मुख्यमंत्री ने हमारी बातें सुनीं। लेकिन कोई स्पष्ट आश्वासन नहीं दिया था, केवल मीडिया में कहते रहे हैं कि बड़े बांधों के निर्माण पर पुनर्विचार करेंगे और धार्मिक नदियों पर कम से कम छेड़छाड़ करेंगे।

- आपकी अगली रणनीति क्या होगी?

अभियान सभी निर्णय सामूहिक रूप से उठाता है, जिन-जिन नदियों पर संयोजक समितियां व संयोजक मिलकर कदम तय करते हैं और स्थितियां बनती हैं वैसा कदम मिल कर तय करेंगे। अभी हमारा अभियान प्रोफेसर जीडी अग्रवाल के उपवास पर ध्यान केंद्रित किए हुए है।

- उत्तराखंड नदी बचाओ अभियान में जनता की भागीदारी किस प्रकार बढ़ रही है?

जनता की भागीदारी विभिन्न घाटियों में बढ़ रही है। जो पहले अपने कष्टों को धीरे से कह रहे थे वे अब ज्ञापन दे रहे हैं, धरना उपवास कर रहे हैं। महिलाएं संगठित हो रही हैं। वे अपने क्षेत्र की नदियों के प्रति सजग होकर वहां होने वाले रेत-बजरी आदि के खनन के व्यापारिक दोहन को रोक रही है। जंगलों में लगने वाली आग को बुझा रही हैं। उनके प्रयासों पर लोग अधिक से अधिक चाल-खाल बना रहे हैं। आरक्षित वनों को बचाने के लिए भी सक्रियता और प्रतिबद्धता से काम कर रही है।

- क्या इस अभियान को उत्तराखंड के बाहर से भी समर्थन मिल रहा है? मिल रहा है तो किस तरह से?

प्रदेश के बाहर से कई सामाजिक क्षेत्र में पर्यावरण के लिए काम करने वाले लोग नदियों को बचाने के लिए लोगों में जागृति लाने के मकसद से राज्यव्यापी पदयात्राओं के बाद रामनगर में हुए सम्मेलन में शामिल हुए थे। आर्थिक दृष्टि से की गई हमारी अपील पर अनेक मित्रों व इन कामों में विश्वास रखने वाले साथियों ने अपनी छोटी-छोटी मदद भी भेजी है, जिससे स्थानीय स्तर पर चल रहे प्रयासों को ताकत मिली है। दूसरे प्रदेशों में भी इस वर्ष को उत्तराखंड की तर्ज पर नदी बचाओ अभियान वर्ष के रूप में मनाया जा रहा है। नदी के सवाल पर प्राफेसर जीडी अग्रवाल के आमरण अनशन के फैसले को देखते हुए देश भर के आईआईटी वाले सर्वोदयी साथी और उनके शिष्य सक्रिय हो गए हैं। प्रो. अग्रवाल के फैसले का पूर्ण समर्थन करते हुए उत्तराखंड नदी बचाओ अभियान के साथी भी अपने-अपने क्षेत्रों में लोगों को जगा रहे हैं। संगठित कर रहे हैं। प्रधानमंत्री मनमोहन सिंह के नाम से आन लाइन आवेदन पर हस्ताक्षर अभियान चलाए जा रहे हैं। उनके समर्थन में अभियान के साथी भी प्रदेश में अलग-अलग जगहों पर सामूहिक उपवास कर रहे हैं।
साभार- http://hindi.indiawaterportal.org     


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