More articles by

Deepak Tiwari
Deepak Tiwari


Together for a cause

LENDING A HAND LENDING A HAND: Rachna Dhingra, Sathyu's wife and a long-time associate, doing a survey of widows in a victims' colony | Arvind Jain

Clad in jeans and khadi, Rachna Dhingra looks every bit the die-hard activist she is. She is Satinath Sarangi's wife, who quit a top job in a US company to become one among the hundreds of volunteers working for Bhopal victims.

A graduate of the University of Michigan Business School, Rachna had participated in Sathyu's pro-tests in the US when he threw pamphlets at the Union Carbide shareholders' meeting. Now she is often seen in gas-hit slum colonies, mingling with poor women.

Rachna, whose parents are in the US, says, "I am here because I have chosen this life. I feel for the cause and do this for my pleasure." She became friends with Sathyu when she came to Bhopal seven years ago.

More than 2,000 gas survivors gathered for their wed-ding reception last year. The marriage sans rituals was in the local court. Most of their time is spent in Sambhavna and it is only on Sundays that they live in their rented house.

Rachna handles all the work of Sambhavna in the absence of Sathyu. Over the years, she has become the face of Sambhavna for visitors and mediapersons.

Currently, she heads BGIA (Bhopal Group of Information and Action), a pet project of Sathyu, and helps poor and destitute women fill forms for pension, which was announced by the government recently.

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