I am sharing with you the email i received from Nandlal Master, who has been leading the struggle for rights of local communities over natural resources, in particularly, water and putting up a stiff resistance to corporate giants like Coca Cola.
'Cold/soft drinks will not be allowed on Banaras Hindu University campus in Varanasi from August 1, 2007. BHU has placed a ban on Coke and Pepsi on campus. This decision was taken by the BHU administration on 1st August. Everybody is happy. Although, some people opposed the ban, but everybody agreed that cold/soft drinks are not good in any way. The Mehdiganj movement (against Coca-Cola) is getting strengthened gradually. Congratualtions to all colleagues (for your support to the movement).'
I must say this is a very big victory. because some state governments in south and west india had placed a ban on soft drinks in their states/school-colleges/government offices earlier, but this is really the first time when a north indian university has placed a ban on coke and pepsi. for nandlal, a youth from rural background, who has led a popular grassroots movement against the coca-cola bottling plant in village mehdiganj in varanasi district for the last 5 years this is a morale boosting development.
By Sandeep Pandey