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SAMAJ PARIVARTANA SAMUDAYA (SOCIETY FOR SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION) SPS is a Voluntary Organization working in Karnataka, and other parts of India since 1984. It works in close cooperation with several other voluntary organizations, networks and movements, to promote actions with peoples’ power of participation on a broader scale towards social transformation and to bring about larger collective impacts on the governmental policies, deliberated legislations and programmes for human-wellbeing. This brochure, specially prepared as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations, gives the details of the SPS philosophy, Activities “Ashadeep”, Jayanagar Cross, Saptapur, DHARWAD 580 001 Karnataka (India) Email:

Phone: (0836)2444742/6577255(O) (0836) 2777430(R) Dr. G.K.Kadekodi: (0836) 2472827(R) 9845147633(M) Shri. I.G.Pulli



Philosophy of SPS The basic philosophy of SPS can best be summed up as: “People need to and can develop a macro perspective of a free, democratic, secular, egalitarian, non-violent, non exploitative and just society while working towards it on various issues in micro situations and by trying to build linkages with different sections of the society at various levels.� SPS contemplates that voluntary organizations and social activists can play an important role as catalysts of change by starting a process of action and reflection among the toiling people. SPS thinks in terms of movements and not in terms of projects. Encouraging people to organize and consciously struggle through Non Violent Direct Action (NVDA) on issues like environmental protection or the right to work towards community control over natural resources such as jal, jungle, jameen and khaneej (water, forest, land and minerals) with active support of conscientious people from various sections of the society including Scientists and Advocates, Academicians have been part of the think tanks process for SPS activities. The activities of SPS have been inspired by concept and vision of Swaraj (self rule) for all especially the poor with focus on their social and economic empowerment and transformation of the Indian society towards this vision, based on principles of truth and non- violence. SPS also firmly believes that it is very essential to provide alternatives while dealing with the adverse impacts of the present development model and also work towards a holistic development model. SPS has derived inspiration for its work from thinkers, practitioners, visionaries and philosophers like Socrates, Buddha, Henry David , Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, John Ruskin, Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi and more recently dr. E.F. Schumacher, Rachel Carson, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and


Vision: SPS is borne with a vision in its title itself: Transforming the society towards empowerment and dignity of life, based on the principles of `truth` and `non-violence` and has steadily evolved over the years towards `` Swaraj``: Community Control over natural resources:

jal, jungle, jameen and khaneej, Self-Rule (Empowerment of gram sabha and

PRIs) that contributes towards a harmonious relationship between nature, society and culture has been working towards the vision of ``Swaraj``.

Mission: The mission is to bring about participatory deliverable democracy through the means of non-violence, transparency and self-reliance.

SPS Activities Environmentalists are many a times accused by critics that they always say ‘No’ to everything – Big Dams, Power Plants, Mega Factories, Nuclear Reactors and so on. SPS has strongly felt from the beginning that while resisting what is adversely affecting the people, there is a need to suggest decentralized alternatives which are not only ecologically sustainable and socially acceptable but also involving people as active decision-makers, and not simply as beneficiaries. The process should be empowerment, transparency, justice to all and participation. In its endeavor to realize the above mentioned philosophy, a number of social and ecological issues were addressed and deliberated by SPS in association with various other organizations and networks during the last 25 years of its existence; some of these activities are highlighted thematically.



From its inception, SPS has been involved in the fight against pollution of Tungabhadra river water and air in the region. Since 1972, with the Birlas opening the Harihar Polyfibres, at Kumarapattnam, near Harihar town, there has been surmounting accumulation of polluted waters of Tungabhadra, air and soil in the surroundings. Due to this, there were large-scale fish kills, increasing instance of peculiar diseases to human beings, cattle and sheep, and degradation of land on the banks of the river. SPS facilitated formation of Village Parisar Samitis and ‘Tungabhadra Parisara Samiti (TPS) in the region. These Samitis plunged into actions by writing letters to Government officers, organizing protest marches, organizing environmental awareness jathas and so on. SPS helped these Samitis by organizing environmental camps, providing resource persons and undertaking training in Non Violent Direct Action (NVDA). Most notable Satyagrahas were held on June 05, 1984, October 02, 1984, December 7-10, 1993 and a major Satyagraha was successfully conducted during 7-10 December 1993 when over 100 Satyagrahis chained themselves to the door of the KSPCB office and prevented it from functioning; On the 5 th day of this unique Satyagraha, the Govt. removed the corrupt Chairman of KSPCB. More recently on April 22,2008, October 02,2008 and June 05,2009 against the plans for capacity expansion (over 70%) of production by the Grasiline Division of Grasim industries. These collective efforts in the 1980s and 1990s brought success including compelling the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board(KSPCB) to file criminal and civil cases against Harihar Polyfibres Divisions (part of GRASIM industries) in the JMFC Court, Ranebennur, for the first time in the history of industrial Karnataka and formation of local watchdog committee headed by former SPS President. SPS also facilitated fishermen to file cases with financial help from State Legal Aid Board in the JMFC Ranebennur, against Harihar Polyfibres for depriving them of their livelihood.


SPS involved reputed national institutes and experts in the study of adverse effects of pollution of the river Tungabhadra due to effluents of HPF. The study reports of CIFRI(Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore) and NIOH (National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad- a part of Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi) confirmed that the pollution is harmful to aquatic and human life, respectively. A study team of SPS conducted an exhaustive year long study of the issue with a grant of Rs. 67,000 from the KSPCB, Bangalore. A major public interest litigation was filed in Karnataka High Court in December, 1985 which was the first major public interest litigation in Karnataka; and in 1997 the High Court of Karnataka awarded Rs. 25,000 to SPS for its contributions towards this public cause. One of the significant achievements of the peoples movement was the establishment of a Local Watchdog Committee called

Tungabhadra River Environment (Harihar region)

Management Committee (TREMC) in 1994, involving all the stake holders (local people, industry, government officials including fisheries department and pollution control board officials) so that justiciable and participatory solutions emerge on controlling the environmental damages in the river basin region. As a result of all such efforts of people’s organization and public interest movement, today the river Tungabhadra is less polluted than it was before; and the factory is forced to clean-up its effluents regularly. A recently published Report of SPS Team documents these legal and other initiatives over the years. It was supported by a grant of about Rs. 1 lakh from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, sponsored by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Govt. of India, New Delhi.



Right from the beginning, SPS has been concerned about the deteriorating situation with common lands in the country. The crisis of common lands can be traced to the formulation of Forest Policy by the British Rules in 1894, with a focus on industrial and commercial interests, away from the people who are directly dependent on

them. SPS has always been deliberating on

understanding the genesis of tribal history of India and of those people, their living relationship with forests and other natural resources.

On 14 November 1984, Karnataka Pulpwood Limited (KPL), a joint-sector company was formed by the Government of Karnataka in collaboration with Harihar Polyfibres. The State Government leased out 75,000 acres of forest land, Common and Degraded lands for 40 years at token price of Re. 1 per year per acre to cultivate eucalyptus trees for the captive consumption by HPF which produces rayon grade pulp for man–made fibre. This had deprived about 5,00,000 villagers in four districts of Karnataka of their basic necessities like fodder, fuel, fruits, small timber, raw material etc. Certainly, this amounted to a clear case of government policy against the common man.


SPS filed in the Supreme Court on 9th December 1986, public interest litigation against the KPL and got a stay order on March 24, 1987 (WP No. 35 of 1987) the petitioners were SPS, some affected persons, veteran Kannada writer Dr. K. Shivaram Karanth and Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi. The State Government had transferred 37,000 acres of land to KPL in violation of the Supreme Court stay order, for which a contempt of court petition was filed. Resolutions against KPL and for peoples` participation in forestry management were passed in Gram Sabhas, Madal Panchayats and Zilla Panchayats. Questions were raised in the state assembly and 72 legislators of all political hue and colour submitted a joint memorandum to the Chief Minister to cancel the KPL agreement. The KPL faced serious difficulties in terms of finance and allotment of land. Thanks to decisions taken by the financing institutions and NABARD to uphold the Court Orders and also actions taken by conscientious Government officers, agreement with KPL was cancelled. SPS built relentless pressure in this regard. The latest in the series was the Cycle Jatha to Bangalore on 10 August 1991, the Dharana and the Vigil Line in front of Vidhan Soudha and meeting with the Chief Minister. As a result, the KPL Board and the Board of KFDC have resolved unanimously to wind up the company. The Karnataka Cabinet resolved unanimously in its meeting on 15 th October 1991, to wind up KPL. This was followed by G.O. No. AHFF 24 FPC 90, Bangalore dated 24th October, 1991.SPS bears the stamp of a A rare success story of an environmental struggle. Only the third such in the country, the two others being the Chipko and the Silent Valley. It has been documented










Satyagraha``(Kannada). In this process, SPS studied the 300 year history of the struggle of tribals and others against the British; worked closely with similar minded organization from all over the country and campaigned for a new National Forest Policy that was adopted in December 1988 and an important Joint Forest Management(JFM) policy circular was issued on June 1, 1990 paving the way for participation of forest dependent local people in the protection of forests, development of degraded lands for the first time since 1864 when the Forest Department was established by the colonial rulers thereby alienating the local people from the forests. 7

SPS has continuously played a key role as part of networks like National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources (NCPNR), Grama Ganarajya Vedhike (GGV), Jan Vikas Andolan, and FEVORD-K on policy changes in Karnataka and India that has led to improvements in JFM including the amendment in the Forest Act for the first time in India, enshrining the JFM as part of the law. In a major consultative meeting of the Members of Parliament and political leaders, held in New Delhi in 1995 a lead paper entitled `` Peoples` Forests`` by S R Hiremath and Madhu Sarin outlined the major changes needed in forestry including the role of Forest Department and peoples` rights over natural resources: jal, jungle, jameen and khaneej. As a result, an alternate draft forest bill was prepared by the voluntary organizations, a process supported by the MoEF, GOI. A special issue of `` Jagrut Vani`` of March 1996, entitled ``Peoples` Rights over Natural Resources: putting it on the national agenda� carried all these in detail.



SPS has played a key role on Social Forestry and Wasteland Development and on peoples` forest participation. Working with FEVORD(K), SPS has held a series of meetings of voluntary organizations, Officers of government and the National Wasteland Development Board from mid 1980s to discuss the involvement of people’s organizations for long-term and effective implementation of these programmes so as to cater to the needs of the rural people. Along with the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES) of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and FEVORD(K), SPS organized workshops for voluntary organizations with a grant from the Planning Commission, New Delhi during 1986 and 1988. A monograph entitled “ Peoples Participation in the Management of National Resources’ was released by


CES, also published by SPS as a booklet in English and Kannada as Janaranya. Thousands of copies of these booklets were sold during the cycle Jatha from several districts to Bangalore that resulted in the closure of KPL and a major policy circular of the Government of India, entitled ‘Involvement of Village Communities and Voluntary Agencies in the Afforestation of Degraded Forest Lands’ dated 1st June 1990 was issued by MoEF, GOI. The SPS in co-operation with FEVORD(K) and CES initiated discussions about similar steps from the Government of Karnataka in the Consultative Committee and other meetings. As a result, the Government of Karnataka issued an order (vide G.O. No. AHFF 232 FAP86, Bangalore dated 12 April 1993) for implementation of the Joint Forest Planning and Management (JFPM) Scheme, the Tree Patta Scheme and sharing of Forest Produce in Karnataka. There are several improved circulars further to this first circular, all of which have paved the way for greater empowerment and participation of people. Efforts are on regularly to see that JFPM Scheme is realized in practice and also to attempt to modify it to make it more people-oriented and move towards Community Forest Management (CFM). SPS not only continued its efforts in this direction over the years that followed through peoples’

movement for gram swaraj, spearheaded by the State level network Gram

Ganarajya Vedike (GGV) initiated in 1999, but also carried out major experiments through several projects at the grass root levels including the most notable five year project (20022007) with the active support of Indian groups in the USA and Canada, such as Association for India’s Development (AID), Maharashtra Sewa Samiti Organization (MSSO), Indians for Collective Action (ICA), India Friends Association ( IFA), India Development Service (IDS), Peoples for Progress in India (PPI), American India Foundation (AIF), and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) from India. After a careful study of the implementation of the JFM over the years in various parts of the country, the people of Kusnur have declared a “Sankalpa Sabha” on November 14, 2008 that they will

move towards Community Forest Management in place of JFM; The

Sankalpa Sabha as well as the 21st anniversary of Kusnur Satyagraha were celebrated on that day as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of SPS.



Starting from 1980s, SPS and IDS were part of the national efforts for producing two well known ``Citizen’s Reports” on the “State of India’s environment`` published by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi, in which a people centric forest polices have been emphasized. SPS took up along with the FEVORD(K) a series of dialogues and correspondence with the Government of Karnataka, and held meetings with the visiting World Bank and Overseas Development Administration (ODA) teams about the controversial “Karnataka Social Forestry Project” (a 55-crore rupee project then funded jointly by ODA and World Bank). With its commitments to the environmental issues SPS could convince the donor agencies that such a project has no clear component of people’s participation. Learning from the experience of the Social Forestry Project devoid of people, SPS in close co-operation with FEVORD(K) and CES played a positive role with regard to designing a new project entitled ‘Western Ghats Forestry Project’, a Rs. 270- Crore project funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) formerly ODA of UK. The aim of this project was for bringing some major changes to make it people-oriented, seeking active participation of local people especially the poor, and also to introduce species of trees useful to local people for their basic needs of fodder, fuel, small timber etc. SPS coordinator had served as a Member of the State level Steering Committee for this project during 199299.



Western Ghat is a chain of ancient mountains parallel to the west coast of the Indian Peninsula from Maharashtra to Kerala; it occupies about 99,300 sq km2 and is one of the world’s 25 well-known terrestrial biodiversity hot spots. With an objective of awakening the people against the destructive use of forest biodiversity resources, emphasizing the peoples’ rights on them and development of degraded lands, SPS used several jathas and campaign modes. A unique ecological ‘Save Western Ghat March’ (SWGM) from Navapur (Dhulia District in Maharashtra) to Goa, and Kanyakumari to Goa was organized by 150 organizations between 1 November 1987 to 3 January 1988; as the official co-coordinating agency at Karnataka state level SPS played a central role

in the design and institutionalizing the jatha. The sole purpose of the march was to create awareness and concern among the people of all walks about the need to save the ecology of western ghats. With the active participation of member organizations of FEVORD-K, Karnataka Rajya Vijnana Parishad, and CES, Bangalore, SPS was successful in involving a large number of people, including the rural poor in the march. The march helped create an awareness regarding people’s participation in the management of natural resources. This unique ecological event along with Kusnur Satyagraha, were hailed as two of the ten major


environmental events in India in the decade of 1980s. The SWGM played a significant role in bringing a worldwide attention on the ecological status of the Western Ghats, later regarded as a major ecological hotspot in the world and also in mobilizing widespread public opinion in India for a people-centric `` National Forest Policy, 1988``, in place of more than 90 year old forest policy of 1894 formulated by the British Regime.

Another march (2 April to 1 May 1989) with the theme of “Save Water, Save Life� starting from Vasai, north of Bombay in the West Coast and from Calcutta in West Bengal, converging at Kanyakumari in Kerala on 1 May 1989, was organized. SPS shouldered the responsibility of co-coordinating the march in Karnataka and involved local organizations like Uttar Kannada Parisara Samrakshana Samiti, Tungabhadra Parisara Samiti, Action Committee for Protection of Common Lands, Save the Western Ghats Movement, South Kanara District Committees and Subhada.




With advent of campaign mode and activities to protect natural resources, SPS always felt the need for a national level platform and well design of strategies. Consequent upon the Harsud rally in September 1989, the first National meeting of like-minded people and organizations was held at Bhopal on 1 st and 2nd December, 1989. It was realized at this meeting that it is not enough if we raise our voices only against big dams. There are so many development projects which have been degrading the environment. The total development perspective is lop-sided. Development should go hand in hand with resource sustainability. This very concern led to formation of Jana Vikas Andolan (JVA) with SPS as an integral part of it.


SPS organized the 2nd National Meeting of JVA at Dharwad on 23 rd and 24th March, 1990 which was attended by nearly one hundred participants from the length and breadth of India. It was decided to hold regional meetings for South India. SPS collaborated with ``Save The Nilgiris Campaign ``to hold a regional meeting for the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, working to spread the JVA. Since June

1991, SPS Co-

coordinator S.R.Hiremath and Shri. Jyotibhai Desai, Founder Chairman, served as Convener and Co-conveners of JVA for two years. As a result of the interest in Common Property Resources developed within JVA and on the eve of the SPS being awarded the prestigious ``Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar” (IGPP) in

1992, the National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources (NCPNR) was

founded by Dr. Shivaram Karanth and Shri Chandi Prasad Bhatt in 1992. NCPNR and JVA together have played a central role in the process of community control over natural resources, gram swaraj, and Natural Resource Legislation. Since 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century several significant changes have occurred on peoples rights over natural resources and self rule as part of the `` Azadi se Swaraj`` campaign. The special issue of ``Jagrut Vani`` of March 1996 gives the details of the developments that led to the launching of ``Azadi se Swaraj`` campaign on the eve of the 50th year of independence of India in the national level meeting held at Bhagalpur, Bihar in September 1995. Earlier, the NCPNR and JVA along with SPS as the publisher brought out a very significant book called ‘ Water for Gujarat : An Alternative’, authored by Shri Ashwin Shah, a Gujarat-born civil engineer working with the American Association of Civil Engineers. The book is a technical assessment of the flawed Sardar Sarovar Project and suggests a viable sustainable alternative to big dams. It made a very good beginning in the discourse on alternate proposals to centralized water and energy systems.



Way back in 1983, when SPS was conceived, one of the major purposes was to develop it into a Trans National Training Centre for non-violent social change (TNC). As a matter of fact, SPS initially began functioning under the name Transnational Centre for Non-Violent Social Change. Subsequently in 1986, the name was changed to Samaj Parivartana Samudaya. An outstanding experience of SPS is with Non Violent Direct Action (NVDA) in all its key people’s movements, since 1983 to date: Movement against pollution of Tungabhadra River and air near Harihar, protection of Common Lands including Kusnur Satyagraha, or empowerment of Gram Sabha and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). All these movements have increasingly convinced SPS that ordinary men and women can fight successfully against very powerful forces in the society and Satyagraha (soul force) based on Truth and Non-violence is an effective mode of conduct to bring about significant empowerment in the people. Several NVDA training camps have been held in the past. For the members of NCPNR and JVA from Orissa, AP, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka one camp was held in Arashinakunte near


Bangalore in June 1992. At the request of the tribal organizations and various voluntary organizations another

NVDA camp was held in the forest near Kushalnagar, in Kodagu

district, Karnataka. These laid a very good foundation for the successful tribal movement against a private hotel in Nagarahole National Park and also World Bank assisted India Eco – Development

Project. Such training programmes have become part and parcel of

escalating SPS activities, including the recent ones in Ranebennur in September 2009 as part of SPS Silver Jubilee Programs and another one jointly with AID in Philadelphia, PA, USA in November 2009. NVDA trainings have since then become instrumental to people’s movements spearheaded by various networks like GGV and NCPNR and have not only led to the success of campaigns but have enlisted the support of a broader section of society to work for social change and empowerment of the rural poor.



The tribals of Bastar region have over centuries, traditional ownership rights on the trees of the forest region, known as Malik Makbooja A widespread scam in the 1990s led to the large scale illegal felling of trees in Bastar. It is a classic instance of how forest and timber resources in the region have been cornered by non-divas mafia and divas elites. Timber merchants bought tribal lands in order to fell the trees on it. Since land alienation laws restrict the purchase of tribal land by non-tribals, timber merchants usually targeted the lands of poor contrabass. Even rich tribal politicians such as Magenta Karma were able to buy land from other tribals as well. Both revenue and forest staff facilitated this.

At the request of the voluntary organization Etta Paris had, deeply concerned with such exploitation of the tribals and destruction of forests in Bastar region of the then Madhya Pradesh, SPS Coordinator S R Hiremath helped them through a major PIL in the Supreme Court of India in 1997 (WP (Civil) No. 202 of 1995). As a result of this PIL, pursuant to the supreme court’s directions in 1997 and 1998,

a high-level committee formed by

the Lokayukta of Madhya Pradesh and CBI, probed the felling of Malik Makbooja trees and the reports found that the mafia activities, and politicians and bureaucrats together are wreaking havoc on Bastar's pristine environment. Currently, this PIL is being pursued on the lines of Godavarman Vs Union of India case in the Supreme Court of India. SPS is committed to pursue such campaign activities to bring the people involved in such illegalities to the books.



SPS views the present situation in the world as most conducive for evolving a holistic development model. The dominant economic model based on Washington consensus proved very harmful to natural resources, so much so, that the developed countries are not even willing to address the real questions around ‘climate change problems, as witnessed in the recent Copenhagen World Summit in 2009. Current state of globalized development programmes is serving a tiny minority of countries; and multinational companies have dominated the economic scene. Unfortunately, the media has not brought out the miseries of vast sections of people and not mobilized the public opinion for human development. In view of the matter, a series of training camps were organized by SPS in the past, for activists, students, youth, rural people and so on in association with a member organizations of FEVORD(K), IBRAD, and IDS etc. The role of media in creating awareness about the adverse impacts of the New Economic Policy was discussed in a series of seminars organized by the Press Institute of India, New Delhi and SPS in various parts of the country including Bhopal, Raipur, Dharwad, Bangalore and Ranchi. Such campaign modes and media communications have become one of the prime apparatus for SPS to deliver its objectives and attain its mission.



SPS believe firmly that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is, indeed a powerful tool against poverty on the one hand, and has immense potential to revitalize rural

economy through ecological

regeneration, provided the rural poor develop the

capacity to understand and utilize this unique opportunity. Therefore SPS decided to play a pro-active catalytic role initially in Davanagere district, one of the five selected districts of Karnataka in Phase I of NREGA, and subsequently in Haveri district. SPS along with state and national networks especially the GGV and NCPNR have undertaken effective campaign for extension of NREGA to other districts of Karnataka. A Consortium has been formed in Davanagere district by taking two consecutive Gram Panchayats and working intensely on the issues of implementing NREGA and livelihood linkages on the one hand, and strengthening of Panchayat Raj Institutions(PRIs), on the other, with a focus on empowerment of rural poor and

replication of such experiments in other districts of

Karnataka. A state level Jatha was organized in 2008-09 covering 18 districts to spread and propagate the objectives of NREGA and its potential of empowering people. Realizing the peoples’ right to work and livelihood, operationalizing NREGA and revival of the ecological base of


soil, water and forests, and the importance of social audit were deliberated during the Jatha with local youths and leaders. The major activities and interventions by SPS on implementing NREGA have been: Mobilization of eligible locals for employment registration; Ensuring that interested locals get adequate jobs; Involving the locals in formulation of shelf of projects; Promoting land, water, soil, forest related activities, renovation of existing tanks for fish rearing, developing fodder for milk animals, soil and water conservation on the common lands, soil and water conservation on private lands, utilization of biomass from NREGA Development for livelihood generation; Strengthening of Labors Sanghas and SHGs; Emphasizing Social Audit and Utilizing Right to Information ( RTI), and Advocacy and Networking.


As an organization committed to environmental protection and social justice, SPS has always been seriously concerned about the widespread illegal mining in recent years and its adverse consequences on the people and the environment in Bellary and neighboring districts especially along the border of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. SPS teams have been visiting the field for more than three years and find continuing deterioration of mining areas and the ill effects on health, culture and occupation of people. It has raised serious fundamental questions about sustainable rates of iron ore and manganese mining, ability of the government to provide governance and earn confidence of people. 21

With a long track record of concern and action for clean and wholesome environment, SPS decided early in 2009 to take up these issues to uphold the dignity of local people, control pollution, and to put a clear stop on over-exploitative mining of the limited resources. An optimal level of scientific mining is necessary for the development of the region, state and the nation. This challenging problem is being tackled by a multi-pronged approach, as in the past, viz., scientific study of the situation by competent scientists, filing of public interest litigation, awareness building among the people as to the ill-effects of exploitative illegal mining, training concerned persons for NVDA, media campaign to mobilize widespread public opinion against the irregularities and illegalities, and to take measures for protecting the livelihood of local people and the ecology and environment of the region. A well planned camp for two days was organized by SPS in close collaboration with Nagarika Hitarakshana Vedike (of Sandur) in May 2009, in which academicians from Hampi Kannada University and Extension Centre of Gulbarga University, activists from various places and local youths and other affected persons participated. A major public interest litigation against the widespread irregularities and illegalities, and praying to include remedial measures to stop the overexploitation of limited mineral resources is being filed in the Supreme Court of India. Pressure is being mounted on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Report (Part 1) of Lokayukta of Karnataka, submitted to the Government of Karnataka in December 2008. Additionally developmental potentials of the region is being assessed by a consortium of SPS and IDS. After extensive training in NVDA and through a consortium of voluntary organizations , two novel satyagrahas: Jagrut Rekha (Vigil Line) were held on November 16-17, 2008 in Hospet and Sandur respectively. More than 300 persons participated in the Sankalpa Sabhas , took a procession to Tahsildar’s office and conducted Vigil Line followed by submission of Memoranda to the Prime Minister of India and the Chief Minister of Karnataka for taking effective measures against illegal mining and related activities. As a result of various efforts of different organizations and individuals the media has covered 22

extensively the illegal mining activities and peoples involvement in opposing them. All these have brought out effective pressure on the Government of India to initiate a CBI enquiry and the Government of AP to order suspension of mining operations along the border of AP and Karnataka, Supported by Supreme Court.


Keeping in line with the vision of SPS, in 1999 a state level network: Grama Ganarajya Vedike(GGV) was initiated for strengthening of Gram Sabha and Panchayat Raj Institutions(PRIs) in Karnataka: This soon became a people’s movement that has contributed significantly towards the devolution of powers (through legislation: Panchayat Raj, Amendment Act, 2003), finances (through Oct. 16, 2004 Government Order) and various other measures for translating the basic objective of power to the people initiated by late Abdul Nazir Sab in 1983 and the subsequent historic Constitutional Amendment: 73 rd and 74th.


SPS has played a catalytic role as the coordinating body of Gram Ganarajya Vedike(GGV) started by leading activists, intellectuals and others in Karnataka and is closely in contact with similar-minded networks and organizations elsewhere in India.

FINANCIAL SUPPORTERS AND WELL WISHERS OF SPS All along these twenty five years, SPS has had the benefit of well wishes and supporters from India and abroad who are like-minded to carry out its Mission,. These initiatives since inception, and several projects of SPS over the years in ``Natural Resource Management and Sustainable livelihood `` for the target group people (landless laborers, marginal and small farmers with priority for SC, ST and women) in various districts of Karnataka have been supported by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT); various Indian Groups in the US and Canada (India Development Service -IDS, Chicago; Indians for Collective Action-ICA, San Francisco; Society for Rural Assistance to India -SRAI, Los Angeles; Maharashtra Seva Samiti Organization-MSSO, Calgary, Canada; Peoples for Progress in India -PPI,

Seattle; India Friends Association-IFA, Los Angeles; Association

for India’s Development-AID, Cincinnati and other chapters and American India Foundation -AIF, New York. The most notable recent projects of SPS have been on ``Management of Natural Resources and Advocacy for Empowerment of Rural Poor with focus on Human Development`` (2002-2007); The recent project in this regard is supported by the Deshpande Foundation (DF). The AID groups have also supported these efforts and most notably the projects on empowerment of gram sabha and Panchayati Raj Institutions spearheaded by GGV, a state level network on Gram Swaraj for which the SPS has been coordinating organization.


Publications SPS has, so far, brought out the following publications singly and some jointly with others: (K-stands for Kannada) 1 2 3 4 5 6

Mrutyukupada Sutta Mutta (K) Samajika Arannya-Sharada Gopal(K) Whither Common Lands? Samoohika Bhoomi Yarigagai(K) Nondavara Hambalada Hadugalu(K)- S. Sreekant Quest for Justice (Fully documented story of people’s

7 8 9

Sadananda Kanavalli Kittiko-Hachhiko Satyagra(K) – Sadanand Kanavalli Jagrut-Vani (Quarterly Newsletter) annual subscription: Video Cassettes (Consisting three programmes filmed by CENDIT, DOORDARSHAN and

struggle for common lands)

Maharashtra Seva Samiti Organization on the issues of pollution and common lands and SPS contributions respectively and titled “Quest for Justice” , “Kusnur Satyagraha”, and “ Of the 10

People.???????? By the People”. Janaranya : Peoples’ Participation in Management of National Resources (English and


Kannada) “Water for Gujarat: An Alternative” – Ashwin Shah (A technical overview of the flawed Sardar Sarovar Project and a Proposal for a sustainable


alternative) Pollution & Its Effects Caused by Industries on Tungabhadra River at Kumarapattanam, Ranebennur Tq: Dharwad Dist. Karnataka State

by Dr. R.R. Kongovi

Dr. P.G.

Dandavatimath, Dr. S.J. Markande (2nd Edition, 1991) 13

All about convention on biological diversity (CBD) : towards a people-oriented biodiversity policy, legislation, and related issues, by S R Hiremath, B J Krishnan,


Vijay Paranjape, 1996 All About Draft Forest Bill and Forest Lands, Edited by S R Hiremath, Sharad

15 16

Kulkarni and Sadanand Kanavalli, 1994 Forest Lands and Forest People as if People Mattered, edited by S R Hiremath, 1997 Natural Resource Legislation and People by M K Prasad, Sharad Kulkarni and S R


Hiremath Panchayat Raj Sashaktikarana Janandolan: Oondu Awhan, by Hanumantha, S R 25

Hiremath and R M Patil, 2004

IDS Publications 1



4 5

AiÀiÁjUÉ ¯Á¨sÀ? AiÀiÁjUÉ £ÀµÀÖ? by Madhu Sarin, Lipika Re, Manju S., Raju, Mitali Chatarjee, Shyamala Hiremath CgÀuÁåªÀ®A© ºÉAUÀ¸ÀgÀÄ ªÀÄvÀÄÛ UÀAqÀ¸ÀgÀ£ÀÄß dAn CgÀtå ¤ªÀðºÀuÁ AiÉÆÃd£ÉAiÀÄ°è ¸ÉÃjPÉƼÀÄîªÀzÀÄ ºÉÃUÉ? By Syamala Hiremath, Manju S. Raju, Rekha Singhal Medleri Charkha Trainer`s Manual (Kannada, Hindi and English), by Ms. Mies Bouwmeester Mr. S. Kanabargi Women`s Dairy cooperatives, a case study, by Robert Olson, Richard Reginald Mt ¨ÉøÁAiÀÄzÀ°è vÉÆÃlUÁjPÉ, by N. Basavaraj, S. S. Ravishankar


PÀÄlÄA§zÀ DgÉÆÃUÀå ¤ªÀÄä ºÉÆuÉ, by Dr. Anand Kabbur


PÀÄj gÉÆÃUÀUÀ¼ÀÄ ªÀÄvÀÄÛ G¥ÀZÁgÀ , by Dr. N. H. Shreepadrao


±ÀÆ vÀAvÀæeÁÕ£À (Kannada, Hindi and English), by S.A. Managoli


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA Ministry of Environment & Forests 26

Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar For 1989 Awarded to SAMAJ PARIVARTANA SAMUDAYA

The Samaj Parivartana Samudaya has emerged as an important voluntary organization working in close collaboration with other voluntary organizations, institutions and individual efforts to create environmental awareness, mainly in the State of Karnataka. The significant activities of the Samudaya encompass different fields, such as pollution in the Tungabhadra River due to industries, safeguarding of common lands, social forestry, wasteland development, the promotion of decentralized nurseries and the conservation and protection of the Western Ghats. The Samudaya has rendered significant service to the cause of environmental protection through scientific analysis of environmental issues and through awareness of these issues among the people. The Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar for 1989 is awarded to the Samaj Parivartana Samudaya in acknowledgement of its outstanding work in the conservation of the environment. R. RAJAMANI, Secretary to the Govt. of India Ministry of Environment & Forests, New Delhi

Some moments to recollect: 27


The Ministry of Environment and Forests invited only two representatives from SPS to go to Delhi by air to receive the award. In reply SPS said: Our philosophy has been collective sharing. You pay us air travel for two and we will utilize the amount for 15-20 of our associates to travel to Delhi by train. In reply the Ministry put forth the excuse of security arrangements at the ceremony and said only two can come. ‘In that case” , wrote back SPS , “ you may send the award and the prize money of one lakh rupees by post. If we come, 15-20 of us will come. Otherwise, not at all.” The Ministry yielded. Representatives of SPS and its associates went to Delhi and shared the pleasure of receiving the award from the hands of the then Prime Minister Shri P V Narasimha Rao.

FROM A VETERAN JOURNALIST’S PEN: Kusnur: Significant Success The success of the peaceful struggle begun in the Kusnur cluster of villages, in Dharwad district, seven months ago against exploitation of common and so-called degraded lands for commercial forestry is striking, considering the forces ranged against it on the other side. Kusnur is only a beginning. Local officers are not always sympathetic. It will take much more work and devotion by voluntary agencies to ensure that the neglected poor get their due. This cannot be achieved by anti-poverty handouts of which a high percentage is diverted by the official channels through which they flow and much of the rest goes to influential individuals who are far from poor. Only by educating he poor – a process that governments have consciously neglected and training them to struggle for their rights can the fruits of economic development go to the growing number who do not get one square meal a day in our country, after 40 years of independence. Ajit Bhattacharjea Deccan Herald 15th June, 1988

A Word on Justice 28

Justice V R Krishna Iyer writes from Cochin in 1987 at the launch of Save the Western Ghat-March 17th November 1987

Dear Shri Kamath

I am wholly with you in the meaningful movement you have started in the name of “Save the Western Ghats-March”. The murder of Nature by the thoughtless, reckless and wildly crazy profit-making sector of politicians and industrialists much be resisted if Nature is not to avenge itself on man. The words of Winston Churchill are worth remembering when applied to our Operations Environmental Annihilation: “ The dark ages may return- the Stone Age may return on the gleaming wings of science; and what might now shower immeasurable material blessings upon mankind may even bring about its total destruction. Beware, I say ! Time may be short”. (Winston Churchill) I wholly support the project but I am not sure whether I will be able physically to join the March much as I would wish to. Let us begin the long march. Yours sincerely, Sd/(V K Krishna Iyer)

ALL THAT THE PEOPLE MATTER- THEY SPEAK OUT  In the special issue of the Illustrated Weekly of India (Dec.31, 1989) marking the end of the 80s, Ms Menaka Gandhi, the then State Minister for Environment and Forests listed ten major Environment and Forests listed ten major Environmental Events of the Decade. In this list she mentioned Kusnur Satyagraha which was spearheaded by SPS and then the Save the Western Ghats March in which SPS played a significant role, as two among the ten.  The World Watch Institute, Washington DC., U.S.A. in their annual report called “The State of the World- 1989” cited the significance of the Pluck and Plant Satyagraha at Kusnur under the title “Protecting the Earth” (Page 165)


 SPS is the recipient of “Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar” for 1989. It is the third Voluntary Organization in the country to get this prestigious National Award for Environmental Protection. “Nowhere in India has the power of the meek to change the course of history been more brilliantly demonstrated than in Kusnur where the people cast themselves in the role of David against the Goliath of Karnataka Pulpwood Limited…” Charles PyeSmith in his beautifully brought out book ‘In Search of Wild India’ has this to say. Mr. Smith is a regular presenter of the BBC World Services Programme “Global Concerns.”  Recognizing the contributions to Environmental protection in Karnataka, the Government of Karnataka honored Shri S R Hiremath in 1987 with the prestigious Rajyotsava Prashasti award.  SPS recognizes

young scholars with an annual Shivaram Karanth Fellowship,

instituted in honor of Shri Shiva ram Karanth on the eve of his 90th birth day.  Appreciating SPS, the magazine Hitavada in January 1992 wrote a full article: ‘ENVIRONMENTAL VICTORY OF THE PEOPLE’. Some excerpts: “…… SPS, a Dharwad-based organization concerned with environmental and ecological issues, took upon itself the task of mobilizing people against the disastrous project ( KPL). The task was not easy because a bulk of the SPS audience was not lettered and pessimistic. Thanks to the zeal of SPS workers led by its coordinator Mr. S R Hiremath, right from the day the struggle began, people had the confidence that victory would ultimately be theirs”……” True to its name, the Samaj Parivartan Samudaya has brought about a ‘ parivartan’ (change) which could also be called a revolution in itself. This revolution was possible only because the masses were awakened to their rights and to the dangers that stalked them. It is this process of awakening of the masses which is the need of the hour. For, while everybody keeps on talking of ‘progress’ and ‘ development’, not too many think of the masses. To that extent the SPS deserves three cheers.  In February 2007, I visited the villages of Dharwad and neighboring districts of Karnataka, the areas served by the Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (SPS). In Byatnal, a role-model village located in Haveri district, villagers work collectively through Self Help Groups (SHGs). Access to credit from SHGs has relieved people from the


clutches of money lenders. Pooling their savings, villagers take small loans to buy cattle, etc. Women now handle finances and even make street lights work! Ajji, a remarkable 100-year old woman, explained to me with pride how, after several visits to pressure District and State officials, they dismantled the arrack shop and even arranged for a stop for the bus plying past Byatnal. She also told us how 3040 villages organized to protest the construction of a dam on the river Varada, saving 18 villages from submergence. In Kusnoor, the Village Forest Committee maintains the common land that provides grazing areas for cattle, firewood and trees whose leaf manure can be used as precious fertilizer in the fields. In Kumaranahalli, people used NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) funds to collectively plan and build a nalabund. At the recent SHG meeting, Ramanna, a villager, asked SPS for the National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Utilization Planning report (which has a detailed map about each farm in the village) to be made available to them in Kannada so that they can make sense out of it and put it to practical use. From my visit, it was clear that SPS had empowered people to stand up for their rights! Sathish Kumar Sundaram, AID Bangalore

VIEWS OF AFFECTED PEOPLE IN THE HPL FACTORY AREA IN 1984 • Hanumantappa Timmappa resident of Hirebidari, 12 km away from the HPL factory says: “ Before establishing factory here we used to get 20 to 30 kg of fish daily, now we hardly get 5-6 kg daily. As fish get spoil early we even could not get reasonable price for it”. • Summary of 13 years experience of Ajagarasab Moulasab Balekhan resident of Medleri, 30 km away from the HPL factory says:


“We, the people suffered from Birla Factory wrote a letter to concerned government officials regarding problems faced by us due to Birla Factory but without success. Government should not sustain such factory which cause harm to poor people living on the banks of the river”. • ¸ÀgÀPÁgÀªÀ£ÀÄß PÀÄjvÀÄ d£ÀgÀ°è «±Áé¸À G½AiÀĨÉÃPÁzÀgÉ, ¨É¼ÉAiÀĨÉÃPÁzÀgÉ




d£ÉvÉAiÀÄ ºÀPÀÄÌ ¨ÁzsÀåvÉUÀ¼À PÀqÉUÉ ªÀÄ£ÀßuÉ ºÀj¸À®Ä ©qÀ¨ÉÃPÀÄ. CzÀ£ÀÄß ªÀiÁqÀzÀ ¸ÀgÀPÁgÀ ¸ÀgÀPÁgÀªÉ¤¸ÀzÀÄ. d£ÀvÁ ¸ÀgÀPÁgÀªÀAvÀÆ DUÀzÉà DUÀzÀÄ. AiÀiÁªÀ ¸ÀgÀPÁgÀªÉà DUÀ° CzÀÄ £ÀqÉAiÀĨÉÃPÁzÀÄzÀÄ- d£ÀvÉAiÀÄ «±Áé¸À¢AzÀ. PÉêÀ® GzÀå«ÄUÀ¼À ¥Àæ¸À£ÀßvɬÄAzÀ®è. (last para is not translated)


Board of Management: 2009-10 OFFICE BEARERS * * *

Chairperson President Vice-Presidents

: Dr. Ravi Chopra : Professor Gopal Kadekodi : Dr. V.B.Nadagouda

Smt.Savakka Belur Shri.Gururaja Budhya * *

Secretary Treasurer

: Dr. K. Kotresh : Shri. I.G.Pulli

* Hon. Executive Director :Shri. S.R. Hiremath (till December 2009)


Members SHRI. R.V.NAGAMULE Dr. R.R.Kangovi, Smt. Savitramma G. Hipparagi Shri. Veeranna Jyothi Shri. R.B. Patil Shri. R.M. Patil Shri. S. Anand Shri. S.R. Hiremath Smt. K. Lalitamma Gonibasappa Shri. V.B. Eshwaran Dr.S.S.Patagundi Dr.T.R.Chandrashekhar Shri.Ningappa Baligar SHRI. M.MADAN MOHAN

Gyanapeeth awardee Shri. Shivaram Karanth, Saligram, (D.K.) was the Chairperson of the Environment Study and Action Committee of SPS

Past Chairpersons Jyotibhai Desai VEDCHI ,Gujarat

Late Dr. K. Shivaram Karanth Saligram, D.K., Karnataka

Chandi Prasad Bhatt Gopeshwar, UP

Justice P.N. Bhagawati New Delhi

Late Justice D.M. Chandrashekhar Bangalore

Kuldip Nayar New Delhi

Prof. M.K. Prasad Cochin, Kerala

Dr. M. Sivamurthy Bangalore, Karnataka

Past Presidents S.R.Hiremath Dharwad

P. Basavaiah Babbur, Karnataka





Hunsur, Karnataka

S.L. Pawar Ranebennur

Veeranna Jyothi Harangiri, Tq: Ranebennur

Ranjan Rao Yerdoor Guruvayankere Dist: Dakshina Kannada

Dileep Kamat Belgaum

Shobha Karjagi Ranebennur

G N Simha Harapanahalli

Sudha Pawar Ranebennur

S C Bangalore Ranebennur

A.S. Salanki Dharwad

R R Kongovi Dharwad

Vishnu Kamath Bangalore

S.B.Polisegoudar Dharwad

G.C. Basavalingappa Davanagere

Savitramma Hipparagi Dharwad

Organizations with whom SPS has been working in close co-operation 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources (NCPNR) Jana Vikas Andolan (JVA) Save the Western Ghats Movement- Karnataka (SWGM-K) Citizens for Democracy-Karnataka (CFD-K) Samoohika Bhoomi Samrakshana Kriya Samiti (Action Committee for Protecting Common Lands-ACPCL) 6. Institute for Youth and Development(IYD) 7. India Development Service(IDS) Dharwad 8. Development Through Education (DEED), Hunsur 9. Tungabhadra Parisara Samiti (TPS), Ranebennur. 10. Tungabhadra Parisara Samanvaya Samiti (TPSS), Harapanahalli 11. Parisara Vedike, Haveri 12. Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), I.I.Sc., Bangalore 13. Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi. 14. Citizens’ Environment Committee, Ranebennur 15. Peoples Science Institute, Dehra Dun. 16. Save the Forests, Save the Planet; London, U.K. 17. Coorg Organization for Rural Development (CORD), Kushalnagar. 34

18. Parisara Jagruti Samiti, Davanagere. 19. Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT), Mumbai

20. Society for Promotion of Wasteland Development (SPWD), New Delhi 21. Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP), Kochi 22. Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Mumbai 23. Dasholi Gram Swaraj Mandal (DHSM), Gopeshwar 24. Ekta Parishad, Bhopal 25. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), New Delhi 26. Uttar Pradesh Voluntary Action Network, Lucknow 27.Belgaum Integrated Rural Development (BIRDS) 28. REACH ?????????????????????????, Harihar 29 Urban Research Centre, Bangalore 30. Paryavarani, Belgaum 31. India Development Service (IDS), Chicago, USA 32. Indians for Collective Action (ICA), San Francisco, USA 33. Society for Rural Assistance to India (SRAI), Los Angeles, USA 34. Maharashtra Seva Samiti Organization (MSSO), Calgary, Canada 35. People for Progress in India (PPI), Seattle, USA 36.India Friends Association (IFA), Los Angeles 37. Association for India`s Development (AID), Cincinnati, Houston and various other Chapters 38. American India Foundation (AIF), New York.

Legal Status of SPS SPS is a Society registered under Karnataka Societies Registration Act 1960 under No. 162/83-84 dated. 6-3-1984 Donation to SPS is exempt from Income-tax under section 80G of the Income-tax Act as per order No. 718-61/84/CIT-II dated 16-12-1992 from the Commissioner of Income-tax, Karnataka-II Bangalore

Membership Any adult person who agrees with the principles, objectives and methodology of SPS and is willing to work in whatever ways possible can become a member by paying in minimum of Rs. Fifty as subscription per year.



Brousher for SPS

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