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Press Release: One year of NDA government

Press Release: Acche Dina Da Katu Sathya: Program to expose Bitter Realities of 1 year of NDA government

On the occasion of the completion of 1 year of the NDA government, a group of organisations and individuals, including Central Trade Unions, NGOs, Human Rights groups have come together to expose the bitter truths of the promised ‘Acche din’. The group has decided to have a series of programmes ‘Acche Dina da Katu Sathya’ over the next 10 days to expose the Modi led NDA governments anti-people steps. Please find attached a press release that was distributed at a press meet called today at the Press Club in this regard. The Press Release also covers the list of events that are planned.

The Press Meet was addressed by Akkai Padmashali of Ondede, Prof.Ramdas Rao of the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties, Diya Raghunandan of Greenpeace – India, Robin Christopher of Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike, Dr.Akhila Vasan of Karnataka Janaarogya Chaluvali and Vinay Sreenivasa of the Alternative Law Forum.

Vinay Sreenivasa said that the NDA government was moving with great speed in bringing in a development that benefited a few corporates only and that this was being done on the foundation of pro-corporate governance which was brought in by the UPA-1 and UPA-2 governments. He also said that while the government’s move to amend land acquisition and labour laws is well known, what has slipped by is laws and policies are being changed, without any public consultation whatsoever, in a manner that in various sectors including Health, Education, Womens rights, Education, Transport ,Tourism etc. He said that under this government, administration itself is being privatised with Authorities and Boards, havign private members being suggested to manage vital issues of Public Health, Public transport etc. He also condemned the authoritarian nature of this governmetn which was muzzling all spaces for democratic dissent.

Dr.Akhila Vasan of Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali said that after having made grandiose promises of free medicines diagnostics and health care during its misleading electoral campaign and also announcing that they will treat health as a right , the Modi government quickly did a u-turn and announced a 20% reduction in the budget for the same. The impacts of the cut are –
– Curtailing of the National Health Mission aimed at reducing maternal and child mortality in the country.
– By cutting down the budget of ICDS by 50%, the government is pushing several malnourished children largely from vulnerable communities to an early death.
– The government has not allocated any funds to 15 national health programs including those related to mental health, tobacco control, trauma care, elderly care.
– By not allocating even a single rupee to HRD and free medicines scheme the government is guilty of destroying the public health system
– 30% cut in the budget for HIV programs will push several million people living with HIV to needless complications and death.

The Modi government has curtailed the powers of the NPPA and thereby is willfully allowing the prices of essential and life saving medicines to sky rocket, beyond people’s reach. The National health Policy of the Modi government is designed to open the floodgates of privatization by pushing dangerous models such as health insurance designed for corporate heist of public resources.

Prof.Ramdas Rao of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties said that children are sure to have bad days if two of the proposed legislations come through. Under the proposed Juvenile Justice Bill, children between 16 and 18 yrs of age, charged with serious crimes will, after what seems to be a unscientific assessment of their mental capacity, be tried as adults and sent to adult prison. He said that this will only push them further into crime, instead of ensuring rehab and reintegration of such children.He also highlighted that the new child labor bill, while asking for a complete ban on child labor, makes an exception for children under 14 yrs working in family enterprises. This runs contrary to the mandate of compulsory education for all children under RTE.

Divya Raghunandan of Greenpeace – India spoke of how currently we are being forced to choose between development and environment but we believe a balance is possible. This government came with the promise of “sabke saath sabka vikaas” but in reality they seem more aligned to corporates and their needs and ignoring the marginalised. Issues like air pollution are not being addressed with the pace needed but govt is amending and diluting all laws to suit the needs of corporations. The government on one hand starts campaign like “clean air is our birth right” and “Swachh Bharat” but on the other removes the moratorium on setting up industries on highly polluted areas, that’s double standards. MoEFCC has become a just a speedy clearance ministry completely forgetting its mandate towards environment protection and safeguarding people.The government has gone a step further to crush the voices those who are raising questions on destruction of environment and peoples rights

Robin Christopher of Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike spoke of how the Modi led NDA Government has aggressively implemented the saffron agenda and rightist policies over the last one year. The hindutva fringe elements have got a free hand to carry out hate spewing venomous speeches, attacking religious minorities and curbing people’s right to choice of food by banning beef. Modi’s silence clearly shows his tacit support to these fringe elements he said.

For further information, please contact :

Vinay Sreenivasa : 98805 95032
Akkai Padmashali : 99800 42532

The Press Release is available below in English and in Kannada.