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Narmada Bachao Andolan

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

Narmada Bachao Andolan


Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) is an Indian social movement spearheaded by native tribals (Adivasis), farmers, environmentalists, and human rights activists against a number of large dam projects across river Narmada, which flows through the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat is one of the biggest dams on the river and was one of the first focal points of the movement. It is part of the Narmada Dam Project, whose main aim is to provide irrigation and electricity to people of the above states.

The mode of a campaign under NBA includes court actions, hunger strikes, rallies and gathering support from notable film and art personalities.


The Narmada Bachao Andolan, with its leading spokespersons Medha Patkar and Baba Amte, have received the Right Livelihood Award in 1991. After India's independence in 1947, under the newly formed government headed by Jawaharlal Nehru, investigations were carried out to evaluate mechanisms for using water from the Narmada River, which flows into the Arabian Sea after passing through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat. The formation of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal was triggered by interstate differences in implementing schemes and sharing of water by the Government of India on 6 October 1969 to adjudicate over the disputes.


The tribunal investigated the matters referred to it and responded after more than 10 years. The Narmada Tribunal aimed to set out conditions regarding the resettlement and rehabilitation of those displaced by the dams.[4] On 12 December 1979, after ten years of investigation, the decision as given by the tribunal, with all the parties at dispute binding to it, was released by the Indian government.



Narmada Bachao Andolan



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