Kudankulam: Women power vs nuclear power

Kudankulam: Women power vs nuclear power
The protests at the Kudankulam nuclear plant show no signs of subsiding. Thousands of villagers, mostly women, continue with their indefinite fast at Idinthakarai demanding the scrapping of the nuclear plant project.

The agitators, led by People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) coordinator S P Udayakumar are continuing their indefinite fast with hundreds of villagers.

The protesting women say they fear for the lives of their children and will not allow any work at the nuclear plant.

They are arriving by the dozens at the protest site, taking the sea route on fishing boats that only their men folk normally use.

The women think the project poses a huge risk in light of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant experience after the tsunami last year.

Despite prohibitory orders, the women are out in large numbers. The police on its part is cautious, fearing the situation might turn violent. The number of police personnel has also been trimmed down.

Muthammaal, a protestor at the site, feels that nuclear power is not the only option. "Is going nuclear the only way? We can produce power from wind and even ocean waves," she says.

Jayanthi, who earns a living from rolling beedis, now works out of the protest venue and contributes a tenth of her wages to the movement. "We have reached this stage. Women will definitely win. No matter how many years it takes, we would ultimately win," she says.

She and many women like her haven't lost hope, even though Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has done a U-turn after initially supporting their cause.

The indefinite fast by anti-nuclear activists demanding scrapping of Kudankulam atomic power project entered the sixth day today even as police trimmed down its force deployed in surrounding villages, easing tension.

Experts say the Kudankulam plant is safe. The government says it could solve Tamil Nadu's power crisis. But these ordinary women are determined to fight it out.

Story First Published: March 24, 2012 08:58 IST

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