"Without peace, there is little hope for human rights" Martin Ennals      "Be the change that you want to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi      "If we wish our nature to be free and joyous, we should bring our activities into same order. Vinoba Bhave


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Statesman News Service Bhubaneswar, 11 September Dr Mani Mala, the director of New Delhi-based Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, has stressed on farmers’ ownership on their land and safeguarding their interest. “Land should be under the feet of farmers who with the hard work can bring heaven on earth. Peasants should not be deprived of the land in the name of industrialization,” she said, while addressing a programme here today. The national convention on peace and social harmony was organised jointly by Vinoba Seva Pratisthan (VSP) and GSDS to mark Acharya Vinoba’s 118th birth anniversary. Speaking on the occasion, Rajya Sabha member Mr AV Swamy lamented that land issues continue to persist leading to several socio-political problems. “The government in the Independent India did not provide land to the native places of tribal areas like in Koraput though these people had struggled hard against the British to get rights on such lands. The government’s lackadaisical attitude gave rise to Naxal movement. There is still relevance of Vinoba and Gandhi and present generation should realise it,” he said. Former Union minister Mr Braja Kishore Tripathy criticized the government for favouring industrialists in land acquisition process and depriving the farmers. He also lamented the passing of the Land Acquisition Act which, he felts, only favours the industrialists ignoring the rights of the people. “If such things continue, then people would go in other directions and no government can stop them,” he said. Among others, eminent Gandhian scholar Acharya Bhabanand; former MLA Mr Padma Charan Nayak; working chairman of Odisha Nagarika Samaj Mr Lalit Mohan Patnaik, Gandhian Mr VB Chandrasekaran and human rights activist Mr S Mukhtar Ahmed spoke on ‘Peace and Harmony: Retrospect, Prospect and Challenges’ during the second session of the convention. On the occasion, ‘Gandhi-Vinoba Peace Award’ was presented to veteran Bhoodan workers Ms Shankutala Devi and Mr Bhikari Charan Mohanty, tribal activist Mr Ghanashyam Pradhani, Sarvodaya thinker Prof Kailash Acharya, educationist Mr Kali Prasad Samantaray, Gandhain worker Late Bhima Bhai, writer Ms Pratibharani Ray and women rights activist Ms Snehelata Mohanty. http://www.vspodisha.org/manage_news_events.php?msg=News%2FEvent+has+been+added+successfully.

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