Badwani / New Delhi, September 13 : Yesterday evening at about , Vinod Raina, breathed his last at State Cancer Institute in Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital in Shahdara, Delhi. It started four years ago with cancer of the prostrate, which was treated, but it spread through his pelvic region, then the stomach and in August it was the liver. He was continuously taking treatment through this period.
Vinod Bhai was a life long activist, campaigner, educationist, teacher and committed supporter and friends of many of the movements. He was one of the first people in Bhopal in mid 80s who led the process of setting up of NBA support group in the city. He along with others at Eklavya opened the doors for the Andolan, which served as a support base for years. Many important campaigns, strategies and processes associated with the Andolan took shape there, to which he contributed immensely. Trained as a physicist but with active interest in social and political processes, he brought in a sense of commitment, purpose and comprehensive analysis to complex problems. Back in 80s when Andolan was shaping their formulation on development paradigm and setting up a discourse then he made immense contribution to that processes, from writing, drafting to creating that space for debate. His humility, mild manners and smile defused many tense moments and kept the struggle floating. It was not only NBA which benefitted from his presence but also the struggle of Bhopal gas tragedy survivors, where he was actively involved.
An institution builder and visionary, he played key role in setting up of Eklavya, which itself is a pioneer in popularising natural sciences, social sciences and contributed to development of pedagogy. He was also an active member of Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti and worked tirelessly towards popularizing of sciences in many of the schools and collaborated with the government so that they become an integral part of the curriculam. He also worked very closely with the Madhya Pradesh Government in 90s in developing Dalit Agenda, which was responsible for many schemes of the government aimed at uplifting their status and empowerment. His contribution towards drafting of Right to Education Bill is well known which he continued by serving as and when asked in various committees government and non-government both. More specifically, he pushed for inclusion of 25% children of low socio-economic class in an attempt to bridge the ever widening gap in society in the RTE Act.
He straddled many boundaries and worked from local to global level. In early 2000 when World Social Forum process was taking shape he along with others played a key role in making the Asia Social Forum, Hyderabad and later World Social Forum, Mumbai a success. He was also involved with Jubilee South, a global anti-debt coalition, and contributed to the WSF process through its deliberations in International Council.
A truly multidimensional personality, with interest in many areas and fields Vinod Bhai’s loss will be felt by many of us. His loss at such an early stage is a loss to our movements, since there are so many battles still to be fought and won. A lifelong fighter, lost his fight against Cancer, but his work continues to guide and help many of us.
We remember our association with you and love and your generosity. Our deep condolences to Anita ji and Vinod Bhai’s family who always stood by him and also with us and been part of this larger family.
Remembering you !
Medha Patkar; Prafulla Samantara; Dr. Sunilam; Gautam Bandopadhyay; Suniti SR, Gabriel Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan; C R Neelakandan; Ramakrishnan Raju, Saraswati Kavula, P Chennaiah; Rajendra Ravi; Arundhati Dhuru, Sandeep Pandey; Sister Celia; Vimal Bhai; Vilas Bhongade; Anand Mazhgaonkar; Krishnakant; Bhupender Singh Rawat; Seela M, Madhuresh Kumar
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