Ekta Niketan is a health centre in a tribal village in India which is run by a group of villagers with very little support from outside. Health workers at the centre are trained to diagnose and treat tuberculosis; TB patients from far away villages come for treatment often by-passing government centres nearby. Ekta Niketan is a popular TB centre in the area.
Ekta Niketan is more than a TB centre. In response to Covid pandemic, health workers and cured TB patients together have organised meetings in surrounding villages encouraging villagers to stock rice grains to help needy families who might find hard to cope with in the coming months. Ekta Niketan has prepared songs for their campaign.
In 2018, as part of a massive crackdown on human rights defenders in India, nine prominent activists were arrested after police claimed they were involved in the violence that erupted between two ethnic groups, the Dalits and Hindus, at Bhima Koregaon in the state of Maharashtra. Following the arrests, an aggressive smear campaign was launched against them by the government, claiming them to be ‘anti-nationals’ working against India. Many mainstream media outlets have already branded them ‘guilty’. In April 2020, at the height of Covid pandemic, two further activists were arrested.
These eleven activists, known as Bhima Koregaon 11, are prominent lawyers, artists and trade unionists, known for their work for the rights of India's poor. They are now locked up after false accusations by Narendra Modi’s nationalist government in India. Write to India's Home Minister demanding the immediate release of the Bhima Koregaon 11.
For more information, click Crisis; also visit www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/bhima-koregaon-BK11-india.