Veteran journalist and social activist dies of Covid in Palghar
Veteran journalist and social activist Ashok Churi succumbed to Covid-19 at his home in Palghar on Friday morning. The 71-year-old is survived by his wife, son and daughter.
Churi owned and edited the- Palghar Times – a Marathi weekly paper – and would highlight the plight of tribals and the economically weaker sections of society. He later took to social activism and used to plan mass tribal community weddings in Palghar each year in May. To date, he had organised around 1,133 weddings since 1987 under the aegis of the Thane District Slum Dwellers’ Welfare Sangh. Churi would also do ‘kanyadhaan’ of many orphaned tribal brides at the weddings.
In many cases, tribals would take large loans to pay for weddings and would be stuck paying the debt for years. Churi started community weddings to stem the practice by making the function more affordable for the tribals.
He was also a union leader for the industrial workers in Tarapur and was associated with the Bombay Labour Union.
Last week, the 71-year-old came down with a fever but recovered in a few days. However, he relapsed and succumbed to the infection. According to Dr Dinkar Gavit, medical superintendent at Palghar Rural Hospital, following his death, Churi’s test came back positive of Covid-19.
He was cremated at Palghar civic crematorium, where only 15 of his relatives were present, and social distancing was practiced as per protocol.