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Indian water expert and activist visited SASNET

Shripad Dharmadhikary came to Lund in early December and held a number of lectures and interactive sessions at various departments of Lund University.
Shripad

SASNET was honoured to welcome Shripad Dharmadhikary from Pune, India. He was a full-time activist for 12 years with the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save the Narmada Movement), founded by Right Livelihood Award winner Medha Patkar. Shripad is also the founder and current coordinator of Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, a research institute which specialises in water and energy issues.

On December 4, Shripad held a lecture as part of the "Water and Sustainability" course for 2nd year masters students at LUCSUS. He gave a comprehensive overview on the conflicts along the Narmada river related to large hydropower dam construction with a special focus on the struggle against the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat. Having been part of the Save the Narmada Movement himself, Shripad was able to share first-hand experiences with the audience on the resistance of local communities against displacement in the name of "development".

Shripad also visited the LU Division for Water Resources Engineering, where he spoke on the need to re-imagine water resource engineering, particularly in the context of important emerging policy objectives of environmental flows, rejuvenating rivers and keeping rivers alive, and meeting basic needs of all on a priority basis.  In a more informal and interactive session, co-hosted by the Swedish Development Forum (FUF), Shripad once more shared personal experiences and insights from the resistance against dam construction along the Narmada river.

Shripad's trip to Lund ended with a fika at Svalorna Indien Bangladesh where he was welcomed by long-term members of the NGO whom he had already met 25 years ago during his first visit to Sweden.

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