Binayak Sen and Bulu Imam are unsung heroes of Adivasis

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Dr Binayak Sen,Bulu Imam*“He was mixed up with the Maoists”,alleged the police.He who was sent to jail,came out on bail.Now Binayak Sen is leading a normal life.

*“He was not a professional historian”,alleged a group of academicians.He roamed about in the forests along the river Damodar,studied the people living there,wrote scores of articles on history of the Adivasis,their art,painting and culture and held that the past of the Adivasis of Jharkhand was linked with the Indus valley civilization.Today,Bulu Imam needs no introduction.

Both Sen and Imam were tracked by London based Gandhi Foundations-Peace Direct who believe that local people have the power to find their own solutions to conflict – and to build their own better futures.

”Our mission is to help them make this happen.In the world’s most fragile countries,we seek out dynamic individuals and organisations who are making a real difference, building peace from the grassroots up: people who are preventing conflict in the places where it starts – locally.They are disarming rebels, resettling refugees, protecting the vulnerable, uniting communities and restarting economies. They work at great personal risk to prevent, resolve and heal conflicts, and break the cycles of violence”,says Peace Direct,a non governmental body.

Under the banner of the Foundation,the Gandhi International Peace Award was established by Lord Richard Attenborough, Surur Hode, Diana Schumacher and Martin Polden in 1988.The avowed aim behind setting up this award was “to honour unsung heroes and heroines for their advocacy and practice of Non-Violence”.

In recognizing the contributions made by Sen and Imam,the Gandhi Foundation’s President, Lord Bikhu Parkeh presented the 2011 Award jointly to Sen and Imam “for their humanitarian work and practice of Non-Violence” amongst the Adivasis in the House of Lords on June 12.

Among the distinguished guests were Dr.Felix Padel, Officials of the Gandhi Foundation including Lord Parekh and John Rowley.The organizer of this year’s Award, Omar Hayat (Trustee), Antony Copley (Trustee) and 90 distinguished guests assembled in Committee Room 4a.Among these guests included Martin Horwood MP (LibDem MP & Founder Chair of The All Party Parliamentary Group on Tribal Peoples), Bianca Jagger (Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador and Trustee of the Amazon Charitable Trust), Aruna Roy, Ilina Sen, Elizabeth Imam, Professors John Gilbert and Narinder Kapur,C B Patel (Asian Business Publications Ltd.),Colin Bex, Martin Polden, Jennifer Wallace (Cambridge), Robert Wallis, David and Erika Geary, Mark Davies, William and Ellen Lethorn, Capt.Om Prakash and many other distinguished guests and friends.

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