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Amartya Sen faints in Dhaka

The Indian Nobel laureate faints 'due to dehydration' at a dinner party at a city restaurant for a few minutes.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2006 14:47 IST

Visiting Indian Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen fainted at a dinner party on Monday evening at a city restaurant for a few minutes.

His sudden illness followed a happy meeting between him and Bangladesh's current hero and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.

Since Sen was born in what is now Bangladesh, the media and the intelligentsia here have been rejoicing the meeting of the two 'greats', describing Sen as "Bengali Nobel Laureate".

"He fell unconscious due to dehydration at around 10.00 pm, but regained his sense in a few minutes," said renowned economist Debapriya Bhattacharya, who also attended the dinner.

"He is now all right and taking rest in the hotel. There is nothing to be worried about," he said.

When the host wanted to take him to Apollo Hospital, Sen refused to go claiming that he was all right. He was later sent to the Radisson Hotel where he has been staying.

The dinner was in honour of both the Nobel Laureates.

Bhattacharya said Sen would participate in the scheduled programmes as per his itinerary on Tuesday.

Sen, who arrived in Bangladesh Sunday, hailed women agencies for playing active role in broadening the campaign for better treatment of women to equal rights for all.

Although an agency dealing with women issues should be more concerned with the welfare aspects, it also cannot ignore the urgency of rectifying many inequalities that blight the well-being of women and subject them to unequal treatment, Sen observed in his Salma Sobhan memorial lecture at the 20th anniversary of Ain-O-Salish Kendra (ASK), a leading human rights and legal aid organisations of the country.

Praising Yunus' Grameen initiative on rural credit for women, Sen said that the ability to earn an independent income, to find employment outside home, to have ownership rights, and to have literacy and be educated participants in decisions within and outside the family have strongly influenced the well-being of women in recent years, the Indian Nobel Laureate noted.

Also participating in the function was American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros.

First Published: Dec 26, 2006 12:48 IST