Saumya, 25 years, was working with a People’s Right Movement in India. On getting to know about her from a common friend, I called her up and spoke to her about the research idea. She responded that she might not be with the movement for long but would be interested in participating in the research work. We first met after her return from a national convention on the issue of special economic zones. Following a brief introduction to my work, Saumya spoke at length about the issues central to the movement with which she was working. Her powerful and nuanced presentation made amply clear her understanding about the facts of the matter and her involvement with the struggle that had a 24-year-long history. Listening to her made me realise with all my senses and intellectual faculty the severity of the various social/economic/medical as well as the livelihood concerns that face the survivor community over the generations. She also effectively explained the grave challenges that people’s struggle faces in the form of state apathy and its unstinting support to the expansionist attempts of the big corporates who care little about the dignity and welfare of the people. As a seasoned spokesperson of her campaign, she showed links between her own cause and the various other movements in India, terming them all at the core as struggles for a life of dignity, preservation of livelihood. Her convincing arguments created a charged emotional context in which I felt as a ‘victim’ of the tragedy that I had not directly experienced but to which I was unwittingly joined by becoming ‘somatically aware’ of the poisonous substances which are flowing through my blood because of the chemicals I intake through food, water and air. She optimistically hinted at the power of youth if they decide to become anti-corporate and refuse to use their products, services and shun employment opportunities with them. She added gleefully that it would give the state a big cause of worry.


Special Economic Zone Student Mobiliser Protest Action Feminine Identity Survivor Community 
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Copyright information

© Springer India 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PsychologyLady Shri Ram College for WomenNew DelhiIndia

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