Other States

Social activist Aruna Roy’s sister dead

Aruna Roy (left) with her sister Manya Jayaram Lindsay, who passed away in Hitchin, U.K., last month.

Aruna Roy (left) with her sister Manya Jayaram Lindsay, who passed away in Hitchin, U.K., last month.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

‘Barefoot College’s archives bear testimony to Ms. Lindsay’s methodical and painstaking work’

Manya Jayaram Lindsay, younger sister of social activist Aruna Roy, died in Hitchin, U.K., after suffering from cancer in recent years. She had set up the preventive and curative health structure at the Social Work and Research Centre (SWRC), Tilonia — widely known as the Barefoot College — and studied indigenous people in the U.S. and Australia, and the transgender community in India.

Ms. Lindsay, 68, was married to a British national and had left in 1977 for the U.K., where she worked with the statutory county social work system till she resigned to take up her preoccupation with alternative medicine seriously.

Foundational work

She had earlier designed a model for “barefoot doctors” and “barefoot midwives” at the SWRC, which set the centre looking for the now celebrated barefoot solar engineers. Working with SWRC when it was building its foundational history, she had recruited doctors who were committed to brave living and working from a village with no electricity or running water.

Ms. Roy, founder member of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan and Magsaysay Award winner, said here on Sunday that the SWRC archives bore testimony to Ms. Lindsay’s methodical and painstaking work. She was also part of a team evaluating education programmes in rural Rajasthan.

Ms. Lindsay was an alumna of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and got her Master of Social Work degree in 1973. She was a serious practitioner of Vipassana meditation. Diagnosed with breast cancer a decade ago, she had it treated with alternative medicine.

Her recovery gave shape to a monograph, Cancer: An Intuitive Healing, and she travelled extensively to share her experience. She was diagnosed with cancer again in 2017, which claimed her life. She passed away peacefully on January 16, refusing to take recourse to allopathic curative care.

‘Unwritten history’

Ms. Lindsay is survived by her two children, and sisters Ms. Roy and Nayanika Krishna. Ms. Roy said Ms. Lindsay’s death had signified the slipping away of a generation of dedicated social workers into an “unwritten history”, when young professional social workers had come up in the country.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:06:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/social-activist-aruna-roys-sister-dead/article30719709.ece

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