People living around the nuclear power plant are still protesting against it but that didn\’t stop Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from remarking on his recent Russia visit that the first reactor will be operational in a few weeks.
As a desperate measure thousands of children living around the nuclear plant have written a letter to the PM urging him to reconsider the project. They want to know why, instead of allaying their fears, the UPA government keeps on harping "Koodankulam is safe". The children also want to know why "when our parents ask important questions, they are being accused that they work for foreign governments, receive foreign money and wage war on the Indian state?
The letter written by these students is as following—
The “Koodankulam Children”
The Honorable Prime Minister of India
New Delhi 110 001
Greetings! We, hundreds of thousands of “Koodankulam Children” who will be the worst victims of a natural or human error or manmade disaster at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), would like to appeal to you to scrap the KKNPP project immediately.
We, the future leaders of India, are so sad to see that our present leaders such as yourself put the interests of multinational corporations and foreign governments ahead of the needs and wants of our own country’s citizens, especially children like us. Your government’s signing a secret Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with Russia on liability exemption for Russian government and companies is just one example.
Our community leaders and anti-nuclear activists are asking your government, the Department of Atomic Energy, and the KKNPP some serious questions about the daily routine emissions from the KKNPP plants; amount and management of radioactive nuclear wastes; the cost and impact of decommissioning the plants; their fresh water needs and supply; the impact on our health and wellbeing; the damage to our seas and sea food; and many other important issues. But you, your ministers, your bureaucrats, and your Expert Group are all simply parroting the same meaningless statement that “Koodankulam is safe.” Why don’t you all answer our leaders’ questions squarely and fairly?
The KKNPP projects are imposed on our communities without our or our parents’ approval or authorization. No basic information has been shared with them; no public hearing has been conducted; and their opinions are never entertained or respected. Is this any way to teach us, the children of India, transparency, accountability, popular participation and most importantly, democracy? When our parents ask important questions, they are being accused that they work for foreign governments, receive foreign money and wage war on the Indian state.
May we point out the fact that your government’s energy policy will deprive us all of our health, well-being, clean air, safe water, radiation-free sea food and so forth. Your generation has no moral legitimacy to pollute our natural resources and poison our future in order to get electricity for 30 to 40 years.
Your recent announcement in Russia that the first Koodankulam reactor will be operational “in a couple of weeks” has insulted us, the Tamil children from the Koodankulam area. We are afraid that your government has been indifferent to the needs and aspirations of the Tamil people. Please consider us as Indian citizens and give us due respect and consideration.
May we request you to offer all possible help and cooperation to our Honorable Chief Minister to protect the fishing rights and security of Indian fishermen, to overcome the present financial crisis in Tamil Nadu, and to revive the power utilities in our state as explained in the Honorable Chief Minister’s Memorandum presented to you on December 25, 2011?
Thanking you in anticipation,
The “Koodankulam Children”
from Koothenkuzhi, Idinthakarai, Vairavikinaru, Koodankulam,
Chettikulam, Perumanal and Koottapuli.