Friend, colleague, activist, lawyer, Bombayite.
Minu passed away in Bombay
on 19 April 2007. She was 31. She died of complications arising out of a
swimming accident in Lonavala on 15 April.
Minu died in the city she loved, she was a fighter for Bombay. Name a public
interest issue in the city and she would be involved. Rallies against the slum
demolitions; the litigation to re-open the dance bars, sale of mill lands to
the builders lobby and; the right to affordable housing.
Minu was deeply committed to social, economic and political
justice. But she brought a healthy
irreverence and youthful exuberance to activism. She was a warm, generous and lovely person
with a deliciously wicked sense of humor.
Her wide circle of friends from different walks of life is a tribute to
the beautiful person she was.
At Focus on the Global South, she devoted much of her time
on demystifying the National Urban Renewal Mission (NURM). She saw the new
model of urban development promoted by the NURM as exclusionary, aimed at
private profit, undermining democracy and argued for its outright rejection.
For an article by her on NURM see ‘World Class Cities – for
whom and at what cost?’ http://focusweb.org/india/content/view/841/29/
She was also working on building a credible coalition to keep
water under public control and oppose the privatisation move fronted by the
World Bank. She was the driving force behind ‘Mumbai Paani’, a coalition of
individuals and groups to keep water under democratic control.
For a campaign note drafted by her see ‘What’s Happening To
Your Water In K-East Ward-Mumbai?’
Previously she was with the India Centre for Human Rights
and the Law (ICHRL), where she was Managing Editor of Combat Law, a magazine on
public interest and the law.
We’ll miss her lovely smile and the energetic hello with
which she greeted everyone in the office. She loved her music and often listed
to it while she hit the keys on her laptop. She was the only person we know who
could read a document, type, listen to music and sing along, all at the same
time. The Focus office will be very
lonely without her.
Minu: we will miss
Afsar Jafri, Ashish More, Benny Kuruvilla, Meena Menon,
Nilesh More, Shalmali Guttal Sonila Shetty, Susanna Barria, Varsha Berry.