New Delhi: Friends and supporters of Binayak
Sen on Tuesday celebrated the jailed rights activist`s 61st
birthday here by launching a campaign to feed the homeless
during this winter.
A group of doctors and health activists also launched the
India chapter of the Physicians for Human Rights and chose to
offer the honorary chairmanship of the grouping to the
At a press conference here, activists of Free Binayak
Sen Campaign and Indo-Global Social Service Society said they
were initiating a movement to feed the homeless for this month
by collecting foodgrains.
"There are around 500 people who have taken shelter in
tents erected near Nigambodh Ghat in north Delhi. We will be
collecting foodgrains from people and serving the homeless
people three meals a day this month," Indu Prakash Singh, an
Satya Sivaraman, another activist, said they hope to
continue the programme even after January if they get more
foodgrains from the people. He also said protests, lectures
and other programmes will be held in the capital to educate
people about issues of health and malnutrition, which were
close to the heart of Sen.
"The initiative is part of a larger campaign calling for
the immediate release of Sen. It is also meant to bring public
attention on the issue of malnutrition among India`s poorest
communities which Sen, along with other public health workers,
have been highlighting for many years," Singh said.
Doctors and health activists from across the country
also came together on a platform to form the Physician for
Human Rights-India (PHR), an arm of an international forum.
In a statement, the PHR said they strongly convey their
dismay at the imprisonment of Sen and called for dropping of
charges against him.
Sen, Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata
businessman Piyush Guha were sentenced to life imprisonment in
December by a court in Raipur for sedition and colluding with
Maoists to establish a network to fight the State.
58-year-old Sen, a paediatrician by training and
vice-president of People`s Union of Civil Liberties, had been
accused of acting as courier for Sanyal, who was in jail, by
carrying his messages and letters to the underground Maoists.