“You are not a symbol of women power but an active part of it. So join the fight for equality and justice,” said social activist while addressing students of Holy Cross College on Saturday.
Delivering a talk on ‘Role of students in nation building,’ Ms. Patkar asked the students to go out and fight for the rights of farmers and labourers, to help them get what they deserve. “After you complete college, dedicate a year to fighting the good fight. Go, raise your voices for the rights of the farmers who feed you, and the labourers who construct your houses. Take pride in the work that they do, so you can live in luxury,” she said.
Claiming that activists like her should take the responsibility to ‘activate’ youngsters, Ms. Patkar said that it was time for people like her to rest and for the youth to take over. “You have the power of social media. It is a weapon. Write letters to your Chief Minister and Prime Minister. Tell them we don’t want corporates taking over what is ours. The farmers have mobilised themselves and are trying to do that. Join them, support them.”
Not very long ago, people used to look up to Chennai’s systematic water harvesting techniques but now the city has a water crisis, said Ms. Patkar but it has taken a political colour, making it worse. “Why did the Chief Minister say no to the water being offered by Kerala? Because they do not belong to the same party?” she said, adding that it is the responsibility of the government to provide water. Right to water is a part of the Right to life.
Ms. Patkar criticised the Centre for ‘nation building’ by promoting corporate companies who do not care for the needs of the underprivileged. “Do not care about Bharat versus Pakistan. It is not important, we are not all warmongers. Nation building will not be done just by killing a few Pakistanis. Let the youth be the brick, sand and mortar in nation-building,” she told the students.
(source : The Hindu)