Yindabad deals with the flipside of Indian economic development, namely how an enormous construction project impacts an indigenous population. The Narmada Valley Development Project was created during the late 1960s to construct 30 large scale dams, 135 medium-size dams and more than 3000 small-size dams in the Narmada River. Over 2.5 million people have been displaced by the flooding of forests, cultivatable land, and villages. The situation in Narmada Valley is an example of one of the biggest wars of the 21st century: water management and control of natural resources.
The affected people, the local Adivasis, have struggled against this project for 20 years, fighting for fair compensation and the relocation of their homes. India's current economic plans seem to be synonymous with the destruction of indigenous people's living conditions. As the cement walls stop the water that used to bring them life, the river floods the people for the sake of the city and development.
Adivasi women have gained consciousness of the dimensions of the problem and whilst fighting for the conservation of their culture, they have become main characters in this unequal fight. Yindabad shows this struggle from their viewpoint: from the riverbank, where the danger of rising water is a constant threat to the relocation process, and from the slum of the Indian metropolis, where the fight continues.
This documentary poses an alternative solution to this destructive development scheme - local instead of global development, and self-management instead of government control. The construction of small dams and the recovery of natural water deposits have transformed the deserted environment and restored water management to the local communities, opening the door to an encouraging future for its population.
For more information visit www.narmada.org.
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