"Most universities are seriously considering abandoning coke after it created such a massive campaign": Alan Sitow
By Dhanya Lakshmanan
CHENNAI: Most colleges and universities in the United States are planning to boycott the use of Coca-cola in the wake of the crisis involving the company and the Kerala Government, said Alan Sitow, a documentary film maker from US.
He spoke to a group of environmentalists, corporates and social activists at the screening of his documentary, `Thirst', at Loyola college on Thursday. Sitow said that the massive strike campaign against the soft drink company, Coco-cola, in Palakkad has led to numerous debates across America. "Most of them are seriously considering abandoning coke after it created such a massive campaign," he said.
Meanwhile, his co-director Deborah Kaufman spoke about water privatisation and said that it was painstaking to see the most important natural resource in the world being sold to corporate companies in the name of globalisation. The 62-minute film is about the agitation campaigns against the same in Bolivia, California and India.
Sitow and Deborah Kaufman were in the city to screen their documentary. The short film has created a shock wave in America. This is the first time the film has been screened outside the US. The film also shows images from the World Water Forum 2003, in Kyota, Japan. The forum included politicians, international bankers and corporate executives who were present to decide on who will take control over water supplies. Meanwhile, experts and environmentalists from across the world accused the forum of acting against people's will. Every activist present said that water is a human commodity and not a material that has to be traded in an open market.
The film focuses on the Bolivian campaign against their government that was planning to privatise water. The protest march and violence that followed in Bolivia on the matter, forced the Bolivian government to acknowledge the people's demand. The only Indian in the film, opposing privatisation was Rajendra Singh, a social activist from Rajasthan.
The documentary also highlights the citizen coalition of Stockton, California which questioned the government's plan of selling water to private companies. Hundreds gathered on the streets, holding banners reading, `Let the people vote' and `Do not sell water', pushed the tempo of the film further.
Meanwhile, Dr V Suresh, General Secretary of People's Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL), Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, said that America is thinking of new methods of carrying water and selling it. "New techniques are being propelled to transport water from places like Canada to Southern American cities by using a material that looks more like the enlarged version of a condom, and is also made of rubber," he said.