Baba Amte’s kin dies by suicide
Social activist Sheetal Amte-Karajgi, 42, granddaughter of legendary social activist Baba Amte, died allegedly by suicide at her Anandwan residence in Chandrapur district, around 125km from Nagpur, on Monday.
A medical doctor specialised in disabilities, Amte-Karajgi was the chief executive officer and board member of one of India’s leading non-profit groups, Maharogi Sewa Samiti, Warora. The samiti, founded by Baba Amte, has created livelihood opportunities for several marginalised people, especially for those afflicted with leprosy, orthopedically handicapped, vision and hearing-impaired individuals and primitive tribal populace since 1949.
“We are in deep shock. There was a disagreement among trustees of Anandwan ashram. But we had come up with a solution, which was also agreed upon by Sheetal. Her taking the extreme step is unfortunate,” said Magsaysay award winner and Amte-Karajgi’s uncle, Dr Prakash Amte.
Amte-Karajgi had recently raised some questions about the functioning of Anandwan ashram and levelled allegations about the certain “irregularities” in Maharogi Sewa Samiti, controlled mostly by her family members, particularly her father, Dr Vikas Amte, and Dr Prakash Amte. She had uploaded a video on Facebook last week talking about the “irregularities”, but removed it within two hours.
A few days ago, the samiti’s trustees removed her from the board. According to people in the know, the members were opposed to Amte-Karajgi’s and her husband Gautam Karajgi’s ideas of “bringing in a corporate culture”. Last week, trustees of Maharogi Sewa Samiti — Dr Vikas Amte, Dr Prakash Amte (both sons of Baba Amte) and their wives — issued a clarification, saying all allegations levelled by Amte-Karajgi were baseless and misleading. They also claimed that Amte-Karajgi was “mentally stressed and frustrated”.
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