Inspirations: Arvind Anjum, 50

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Photo: Priyanka Borpujari

ANTI-DAM ACTIVIST

By Satyam Shrivastava

Fifty-two villages in Jharkhand’s Singhbum district are enjoying a new lease of life thanks to Arvind Anjum. These villages, situated around the Chandil dam, faced submergence in the wake of the proposed 5-metre increase in the height of the Suvarnarekha Multipurpose Project (SMP) dam. Authorities had closed the radial gates on 30 June 2010. Mass protests and continued agitation by the Visthapit Mukti Vahini (VMV) led by Anjum forced to a landmark decision to reverse the height. The VMV enabled 5,000 families to be compensated and 2,200 individuals to get jobs. “We will make sure that the land is used for agriculture,” says Anjum. “We will dig borewells to irrigate the fields of the salvaged lands from the wrath of the dam.” Inspired by the JP movement, Anjum had joined the Chhatra Sangharsh Yuva Vahini in 1976, while still in school. He has been an active member of the Suvarnarekha dam struggle since 1986, mobilising people from more than 250 villages threatened by the construction of Chandil dam. “I am a fan of JP and want a total revolution in this country,” says Anjum. “Inspiring people like him can change the face of India.”

ANJUM MAY BE REACHED AT +91 94311 13667

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