This letter from the Koodankulam women has been sent to Sonia Gandhi, Tamil Nadu Cm Ms. J. Jayalalitha and other women at the helm of power in India.

From,

The Women of Koodankulam
Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy
Idinthakarai
Thirunelveli District
Tamil Nadu

Dear Sister,

We hope this letter finds you well.

We write this to you in hope and anguish. Hope because we still believe that our country being one of the largest democracies in the world will listen to our voice of appeal and peace to continue living in this coastal village of ours safely and securely. Anguish because we are afraid of the Police force surrounding us, of our men and sons being booked in false cases and taken away, of our surroundings being contaminated by the deadly nuclear radiation.

We would like you as a woman and mother of children and daughter to listen to us and allay our fears:

For the past 2 decades and for 364 days recently, we have been raising our concerns about the setting up of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in our area. When our concerns and questions went unheard, we had to raise our voice in dissent and reaction to the way this new development project was implemented.

We like you to know that at no point were we consulted, included or appraised about the project. We understand that the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board has given all approval to Initial Fuel loading and first approach to Criticality of Unit 1 of KKNPP. But now it is our minds that is loaded not with the toxic uranium rod but with concerns about our life and the life and health of our children. It is the soul force of all of us who have come here every single day since August 16, 2011 that is reaching a criticality – to act and respond with the alacrity and peace that our true struggle for justice demands of us.

We are people of the sea and the sea shore. We understand that the hot water discharged into the ocean from the desalination plants will impact the marine life especially fishes negatively. This will destroy our livelihood and only source of food and income. We are aware that Nuclear Power Plants emit radiation into the atmosphere that will spoil our health, our water and soil. We do not have to tell you about the impacts of an accident or leak, the way in which inadequate fresh water supply will lead to disaster, the massive evacuation strategies needed and so on. The pictures from Fukushima and Chernobyl are too clearly etched in our memory. We request you as responsible decision makers to assure us that all safety precautions have been taken for KKNPP.

We also come from villages inland where rich agriculture flourished and there were rainfed water sources. Much of their land was acquired for the KKNPP for a compensation that hardly made up for what was lost. We know of land being taken as Rs 2000/ acre not to speak of cashew trees compensated for with Rs 100/ tree and sometimes nothing. It seems ironical that while crores are being spend to reach fresh water to produce energy, we in the vicinity have to pay Rs 2.50 for each pot of drinking water.

We would like to assure you that all of us living here in these villages desire development – in the form of power to light up our homes and streets, as good roads, schools and hospitals, as safe drinking water. We know that all over the world, governments are taking decisions to phase out nuclear energy. Can we not depend on other sources of really clean energy like wind, solar and tides? If you can visit our area, you can see for yourself the number of wind mills functioning to produce power.
We do not even want to visualize a time when our children will be born deformed or mentally challenged, when our own wombs will be incapable of nurturing healthy lives and when our breasts will be filled not with life giving milk but toxic juices. Can you withstand living in fear and seeing the glistening rays of fear in the eyes of our young girls on the threshold of life?

All of us have taken this vow to continue our peaceful struggle till the KKNPP is shut down and in its place we set up real safe and clean energy giving project. We are sure there is enough intelligence and research in our country to transform these yellow domes of death to circles of life and energy.

We demand that you intervene and use all your powers and intelligence to

  1. Withdraw all police force from the village
  2. Involve in a dialogue with us about how best to phase out KKNPP
  3. Plan a true sustainable development program for this region
  4. Phase out all anti-people, anti-nature Nuclear power projects in our country
  5. Make transparent and more democratic the decision making and implementation process of all development projects in India

Do have the boldness and honesty to visit us here and see for yourself the lives we lead and stand by us- remember our faces and hear our words when you take a decision. This is our talisman for you…..please act immediately as time is running out.

Our lives are now in your hands

Please stand with justice, truth, life and womanhood

Aug 12th 2012
Endorsed by us, the residents of all villages in the affected areas