The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which translates as Save the Narmada Movement kicked off around 1985, as a protest against the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the River Narmada in Gujarat. The movement soon took the shape of a Non governmental Organization or NGO that brought together the tribal, the farmers, the environmental activists and the human rights activists against the Sardar Sarovar Dam that was being built on the River Narmada in Gujarat, a western State of India.
Initially, the focus of the movement was on saving the trees and the fauna that those opposing the dam felt would be submerged under the water, if the dam would be constructed.
The activities of NBA use peaceful methods to stage their protests and demonstrations. These include hunger strikes, garnering support of celebrities from the art and the film world and other such methods. The leading activists of the movement Medha Patkar and Baba Amte, together received the Right to Livelihood Award in 1991 for their contribution to the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
The Narmada Bachao Andolan today has support from NGOs world wide. There have been intensive media campaigns and peaceful protests by the protesters. This has also been pressure on the World Bank to withdraw its loan to the Government for the construction of these dams. Protests have been getting stronger with every attempt to ridicule them. Celebrities such as the popular Indian film actor Amir Khan has expressed his support to the protestors and in fact, has received much flak for it. In fact, the screening of his film Fanaa (2006) was banned in Gujarat as there were fears of those against his stand disrupting the screening of his movie.
The intensity of the movement has in fact thrown light on other similar issues as well.