"An ant in the ear of an elephant can cause a lot of trouble, can't it?" declares a woman protesting against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu, describing the daily, peaceful, non-violent protest that she and other women from nearby villages have been carrying on in Idinthakarai since August 15, 2011. It is the proverbial fight between David and Goliath, with the villagers living in the vicinity of the KKNPP and most affected by it, pitted against the might and machinery of the Government of India.
For these villages along the coastal belt of Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Tuticorin districts - that have a nuclear plant almost in their backyard--radiation is a real fear that dominates their lives and dictates their choices; to protest, to fast, to demonstrate against the government, to face arrest and incarceration.
These Project Affected People or PAP do not believe the government's assurances that the plant is totally safe because they have not been consulted in any discussions about the KKNPP. Led by the Peoples' Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) and its coordinator S P Udayakumar, the women who form the backbone of the Koodankulam struggle, are fiercely courageous, well informed and steadfast in their resolve to oppose the KKNPP and nuclear power and continue to protest...
Minnie Vaid spent time in June 2013 with the intrepid women leading the Koodankulam struggle to record their fears, their demands and their hopes for the future. A month later, Unit 1 of the KKNPP was commissioned. She went back to Idinthakarai in January 2014 to talk to the women about their game plan.
Minnie Vaid wears many hats: a former print and television journalist, a docu-mentary film maker primarily interested in social issues in rural India, a part-time activist, an avid traveller, a social commentator.
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