Veteran human rights activist, Rajendra Sail passes away

Veteran human rights activist and former president of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) Chhattisgarh, Rajendra Sail passed away on Sunday

Rajendra Sail (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
Rajendra Sail (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
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NH Web Desk

Veteran human rights activist and former president of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) Chhattisgarh, Rajendra Sail passed away on Sunday afternoon.

Several senior activists, lawyers and journalists have expressed their grief at his sudden demise, terming it a big loss for human rights in India, especially in Chhattisgarh, The Wire reported.

The Wire quoted Raipur-based Dalit rights activist, Dr Goldy M. George as saying that Sail was one of the doyens of the human rights movement and one of the earlier members of PUCL, which was founded by Jai Prakash Narain. Sail served as its national organising secretary from early 1980s until the late 1990s.


“His association with rural bonded labor led to the popular case on bonded labor in the Supreme Court of India in the 1980s, which eventually led to the release of nearly 25,000 Dalit bonded labourers in Chhattisgarh. Later on, he became the Supreme Court-appointed Commissioner on bonded labor issues,” George wrote in a social media post.

Rajendra Sail was associated with several other organisations working in the field of human rights and social justice.

He was also associated with the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) and often fought for reform within the church and the community, He played a central role in the formation of the Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), a confederation of people’s movements in India.

Sail was 72 and use to live with his wife, Shashi Sail, who is also an activist, and two sons, Akshay and Agnay Sail – both lawyers.

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