September 08, 2019

MAHARASHTRA: AIDWA Thane-Palghar District Convention

Prachi Hatiwlekar

TO prepare for the 12th AIDWA national conference in Mumbai from December 27-30, 2019, AIDWA district conventions were successfully held in 15 districts of Maharashtra in the months of June and July. They had together mobilised over 2000 women. The last district convention of Thane-Palghar was held on August 23, 2019 at the Comrade Godavari Shamrao Parulekar Bhawan at Talasari in Palghar district. Over 3,000 women from eight tehsils attended. The huge hall was completely jam-packed with women.   

The Modi-led BJP government which has come to power for the second time, has immediately begun to show its true anti-tribal colours. By proposing a series of draconian amendments to the Indian Forest Act of 1927, it is making all efforts to oust adivasis from the forest lands that they have been cultivating for generations, so as to hand them over to the corporate lobby on a platter. Forest officials are digging holes in forest lands, in the forest plots tilled by the tribals, destroying their houses, stopping them from carrying out their traditional farming and are preventing them from even collecting minor forest produce. In Shahapur and Wada tehsils, efforts are on to oust more than a lakh people from 72 villages to expand a wild life sanctuary. Women in this convention expressed great anger against all this injustice heaped by the BJP-led central and state governments.  

The convention was inaugurated by AIDWA state president Naseema Shaikh. She saluted the fighting women comrades of the district and called upon them to combat this injustice and to make all efforts to make the coming AIDWA national conference a great success.  

Addressing the convention, AIDWA national general secretary Mariam Dhawale outlined the challenges that women have to face every day and stressed on the political struggle against the BJP-RSS combine. She explained the importance of the AIDWA national conference that is being held in Mumbai at the end of the year and also the significance of the coming state assembly elections in Maharashtra in October.     

As a result of the efforts put in by all, AIDWA membership in the district has crossed the 15,000 mark and it was decided to complete the target of 25,000 at the earliest. The next step would be taking up the conference fund drive with vigour. The AIDWA district committee has resolved to collect a fund of Rs 10 lakh and also mobilise 10,000 tribal women for the mass rally of the all India conference on December 27 in Mumbai. Fraternal class and mass organisations from the district like AIKS, CITU, DYFI and SFI will help AIDWA to achieve these tasks. It was also decided that women in the district will make all efforts to defeat the BJP and the Shiv Sena and to ensure the victory of the candidates of the Left and secular parties in the coming state assembly elections.

The introductory speech in the convention was made by district secretary Lahani Dauda. Veteran AIDWA founder leader Hemlata Kom addressed the convention. District and tehsil leaders like the chairperson of the Talasari panchayat samiti, Savita Davre, zilla parishad members Sunita Shingda and Mary Ravte, Tai Bendar, Rama Tarvi, Sunita Ozare, Nikita Kakra, Santi Khurkute and Kamala Gattu placed the struggles going on in their areas. Chairperson of the Talasari municipal panchayat Smita Valvi proposed the vote of thanks. The convention was presided over by district president Prachi Hatiwlekar. 

The convention ended with the firm resolve to fight the diabolical conspiracies of the BJP-led governments of Modi and Fadnavis to undermine the Forest Rights Act and to evict adivasis from the lands that they have held for generations.