Lokayat update of activities

The swine flu outbreak put a stop to all our activities. Since the second week of August, since Aug 11, nothing much has been done. Here is a report of our activities since July.

1. We have been campaigning against the proposed privatisation of PMPML. The PMPML is proposing to buy 200 AC buses, which is going to be absolutely ruinous for the finances of PMPML. The present few AC buses with PMPML have thrice the rate of standard buses, and so they go empty and hence incur heavy losses. Actually, for public transport in a city, where the average duration of travel is barely 20 mins or so, there is no need for AC buses. Various organisations of Pune have come together to form a joint front, PMPML BACHAO KRITI SAMITI, and a dharna is planned outside PMPML office at Swar Gate on Monday, Aug 10 from 2 pm to 5 pm. A similar dharna will be organised in Pimpri-Chinchwad on Aug 11.

This got cancelled due to Swine flu.

Now fresh agitations are planned. The schedule is:

SEMINAR ON PPP Model and PMPML:

Pimpri – Sept 7, Monday
Pune – Sept 8, Tuesday, at Shramik Bhavan, near PMC bus stand, time 5 pm.

DHARNA AND DEMONSTRATION

Sept 10, Thursday, outside PMPML head office at Swar Gate. The dharna would be daylong, and the demonstration would be from PMC to Swar gate. It is a joint program of various groups, including the PMPML union, CPM, Sarva Shramik Sangh, Shramik Mahila Morcha, Maruti Bhapkar’s group, Manav Kamble’s group, Subhash Sarin’s group, and so on.

2. We have organised a series of lectures in various law colleges on Judicial Accountability and Reforms, in July.

3. We have also organised lectures and film screenings on human rights issues in various law colleges in July.

4. As a part of NO MORE HIROSHIMAS, NO MORE BHOPALS campaign, for which a cultural festival is scheduled for August 8, about which I have already mailed you, we organised a musical public awareness campaign on July 30 and 31. A guitarist from Chennai had come down to Pune to help us in this campaign, and with him we went around various colleges and gardens of Pune, singing songs and distributing pamphlets about the subject. Then, on Aug 6-7-8, there were a series of film screenings and talks by Satinath Sarangi from Bhopal in various colleges, including MIT college, College of Engineering, ILS, apart from a big seminar in Fergusson College Amphitheater on Aug 8 morning in association with DES Law College of Fergusson.

5. The Lokayat women’s group organised a staging of the play, Mulgi Zhali Ho, in Mohite college on Aug 1. A poster exhibition on women’s issues has also been made and it will be put up in various colleges.

6. The Lokayat Free Software Initiative has organised a series of programs in various engineering colleges and computer science departments of Science colleges on the free software in July and August so far, and now are planning to organise an inter college seminar on the subject.

7. Workshops of Prof. Ram Puniyani are planned in Symbiosis and ILS on the subject, Challenges to Secular values of Indian Constitution, towards early september.

8. With the government promoting nuclear energy in a big way, including the setting up of a nuclear power plant at Jaitapur, we are planning a big campaign against it.

CAMPAIGN AGAINST NUCLEAR ENERGY

During Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations:

Venue: Outside Saraswati Vidya Mandir on Bajirao Road, from Aug 28 to Sept 1, Friday to Monday, from 8 to 11 pm.

9. Regular adult education classes are being organised in two slums, Pandav Nagar (behind Symbiosis college) and Janata Vasahat (near Parvati), where volunteers go twice a week. The women’s group is also working with the women of these slums, in association with Molkarin Sangathana, and they also go regularly to these slums for workshops, film screenings and other interactions.

10. The SUNDAY MEETING takes place regularly, from 4 to 7 pm, at the Lokayat Office. Do join us whenever it is possible for you.

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