By Our Staff Repporter
Dehradun, 8 Sep: Navdanya has pioneered the movement for conservation of native seeds and crops, including the famous Dehraduni Basmati and the millets like mandua, jhangora, kauni , which had become forgotten foods with the Green Revolution, and have reemerged as foods of the future – 2023 has been declared the year of millets by the UN.
Navdanya has also been a leader of the organic farming movement and regenerative agriculture.
The Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm on Old Shimla road is a conservation, training and research farm. Thousands of farmers come for training to the Bija Vidyapeeth/the Earth University.
Dr Vandana Shiva has written over 30 books and published more than 300 papers, and received many awards, both, national and international. The Navdanya Farm has had eminent visitor like the King (then Prince) Charles of UK, Major General Khanduri when he was CM of Uttarakhand, then Governor Margret Alva, and many more.
Work is conducted in the farm related to seed and biodiversity conservation, Organic Farming and sustainable living.
Dr Vandana Shiva has received many awards including the Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) for her work. Dr Shiva is also invited to give lectures in universities and institutions.
Currently a group is visiting Navdanya for exposure to A to Z of Organic Farming.
During training on Organic Farming on the night of 1 September, the land mafia entered the property, blocking entry into the campus by dumping construction material all over, carrying out construction activity throughout the night, creating obstructions in the free movement of staff and participants between the residential and training facilities. These are on both sides of the private road.
For one year, the land mafia has been trying to grab Navdanya land. The private road on Navdanya’s land has been repeatedly recognised by the courts as Navdanya’s private road.
Court order of 16.3.2009 in case 636/07 clearly says, “The road shown in the map is the private road of Navdanya Trust. Any attempt to illegally make a road on Navdanya’s land is permanently prohibited.”
The order of 21.1 2022 in case 142/2012 states that the road covering is Navdanya’s private property, it is not a public road. There should be no construction on it, nor should anyone be a reason for construction or land grab.”
The heavy equipment is going through the farm and orchard, destroying biodiversity, trees, and crops.
When the land grabbers first tried to encroach on the property and start illegal construction, Navdanya had gone to the court, which had issued a stay order on any construction on the property. The construction had been stopped. This has started again, now with a manipulated sanction from the Mandi Samiti. There is no habitat beyond the Navdanya farm and campus. The Land Mafia used the mandi samiti to illegally start construction work again. Repeated meetings with the authorities on the illegal encroachment on Navdanya property, and construction in a khala, which is prohibited by law, has once again stopped the construction. However, the land mafia is still moving in on campus, disturbing staff and guests.
Navdanya has called on the administration to put a permanent stop to this encroachment and breach of peace. It has also sought the support of civil society to help Navdanya carry on with its creative work and help in curtaining the land mafia activities.