Friday, November 7, 2008

Against Coco-colonisation in Plachimada...

Plachimada is a small village in the South Indian state of Kerala suffering from severe
water shortage since the global soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola started their operations
there in year 2000 . The factory is located in a rural residential area several miles from the
nearest town. Groundwater is a common pool resource vital to us all but especially important
to a poor agricultural community consisting primarily of indigenous people.

The Cola factory has been temporarily closed. The operations have come to a stand still at the factory. This photograph (above), was taken in October 2008, almost four years later to the photograph below, which was taken when the factory was still operational, in 2004 and the strike had crossed a year.

The seventy year old Kannima (above), a resident of Vijayanagar colony next to the factory has been striking for more than four years now. The photograph below was taken four years ago, when she had completed a year long protest.

Crudely transilated, the plackard says that the anti coke strike has crossed 472 days.

Mailamma (center), the peoples leader who started the protest is now dead.

Four years ago (above), people had to collect water from the government water supply. Nothing has changed for the better even after four years (below).

The government has asked the residents not to use the water from this well at Vijayanagara colony as the water is polluted.

This woman, has no other go but to use the polluted water to wash clothes and utensils. The water cannot be drank- she says.

A light moment at Plachimada. It is amazing how the people of Plachimada have kept the strike on for so many days.
This pipe was laid by the government, but it has never supplied water.

Women, Mailamma (centre), collecting water, during heavy rains at Plachimada, four years back.

Students, who came to express solidarity with the protestors, had brought water in 7 up bottles. A paradox of our times.

This child is barely five years old.

The villagers of Plachimada have been protesting against the Coca-Cola unit for more than five years now. A continuos dharna or sit-down strike is held every day and night opposite thefactory gates.