Icon of Coca-Cola Campaign Receives Speak Out Award
For Immediate Release
San Francisco: The India Resource Center congratulates Ms. Mayilamma
of Plachimada for receiving the prestigious Speak Out Award on October
8, 2005 in New Delhi, India.
The award, instituted by the Outlook magazine, honors individuals
who have spoken out for a cause.
Ms. Mayilamma has been a central figure in the community-led campaign
in Plachimada in southern India to challenge the Coca-Cola company.
The Coca-Cola bottling plant in Plachimada has caused severe water
shortages in the area and also polluted the water and soil around
the plant. Community opposition to the Coca-Cola bottling plant, led
by Ms. Mayilamma, has resulted in the plant being shut down since
Mayilamma, a 56 year old Adivasi (Indigenous person), has been directly
affected by Coca-Cola's operations. The water in her well, in Vijaynagar
colony in Plachimada in Kerala's Palakkad district, has been so heavily
polluted by Coca-Cola's operations that it is deemed unfit for human
Ms. Mayilamma has provided leadership in the community on the campaign
from the very beginning, and her work is responsible for the formidable
campaign to hold Coca-Cola accountable becoming well known internationally.
The Anti-Coca-Cola Struggle Committee, a community group leading the
campaign to which Mayilamma belongs, has held a vigil directly outside
Coca-Cola's factory gates since April 22, 2002.
"Ms. Mayilamma is the one person who has always been present at the
vigil, no matter when we went, and we have visited numerous times,"
said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center, an international
campaigning organization that works with Ms. Mayilamma. "Her dedication,
commitment and leadership is an inspiration to us all."
Ms. Sonia Gandhi, chair of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA),
conferred the award upon Ms. Mayilamma.
October 11, 2005
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