Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bina Srinivasan

Another good person gone. Around the end of May this year, the Narmada Bachao Andolan had lost one of its best soldiers - Sanjay Sangvai. Just got a mail from the NBA that Bina Srinivasan is no more either. She had been battling pneumonia for a while. She failed.

It's another little loss for the people of the valley. Happy Independence Day.

Obituary by Nandini Oza
Bina Srinivasan, a strong pillar of the NBA in Vadodra, Gujarat, passed away today early morning (late night yesterday). She was one of those very few in Gujarat who stood through thick and thin with the NBA, braving all risks and threats right from the time of Chimanbhai Patel when the NBA was constantly defamed and threatened. She always rushed to be with the NBA, particularly when the NBA office was attacked. She spent a lot of her time working with the oustees of Gujarat, actively helping to make the programmes of the NBA in Gujarat successful by being part of fact-finding teams during the time of repression, working as a translator for many of the non-Hindi/Gujarati speaking visitors of the NBA, was a great help during the time of the Morse Committee submissions, etc.

Her support to the NBA goes beyond all of this. She personally helped the NBA activists and her house in Vadodara was always open to all. Her contribution to the NBA cannot be expressed in words. For those NBA activists in Vadodara, it is a loss beyond repair.

Bina was not only an NBA supporter but also a very senior women's rights activist. For many years she was active with "Swashraya", an organisation working in the bastis with the poorest of poor rag-picking women in Vadodara. She contributed to the women's right's movement at the national level in a very significant way.

A writer by profession, many of her articles on women, environment and human rights issues have been published in national newspapers and magazines. Her first book, "Negotiating Complexities - A collection of Feminist Essays", was published this year.

Since the demolition of the Babri Masjid, Bina's life and work took a new turn. Her main concern and work since then was to fight the fundamentalist forces in Gujarat, support the minority community in most adverse of circumstances, during riots and the recent carnage in Gujarat.

She remained a fighter throughout her life in one of the most oppressive and fundamentalist of states - Gujarat. For the NBA, it is a loss of a true friend and pillar.

Obituary by Rohit Prajapati
Our friend & colleague Bina Srinivasan passed away on 13th August 2007 early morning due to severe pneumonia, after remaining hospitalised for two days.

Comrade Bina was a feminist writer and researcher. She was also a Human Rights activist and active member of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Vadodara. She had worked intensively with women's movements both nationally and internationally. She worked with an organisation called 'Swashraya', which focused on women in Baroda slums. This gave her insights into the lives of the urban poor in Indian cities. It also brought her to look at issues of displacement and its specific impact on women. Through research and activism she was involved with issues like violence against women, impact of conflict and fundamentalism on women. She traveled extensively and was also part of the Co-ordination Group of the Feminist Dialogues. She was currently working on women who have been internally displaced due to conflict.

Her demise is a huge loss for the Women's Movements and the movements for Human Rights. PUCL (Baroda) and Shanti Abhiyan, has been meeting regularly to discuss strategies and methods to combat the ongoing repression on the downtrodden masses.