Homage to Parshottambhai Patel


SRISTI, NIF, GIAN and other Honey Bee Network members mourn the sad demise of Shri Parshottam B Patel on October 29, 2015; one of the longest serving member of the SRISTI family. He had helped in organising or implementing almost all the 35 Shodhyatras in different states of India. He had represented the Honey Bee Network in China too. He was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma in Oesophagus on 17th October 2015. He valiantly fought against cancer with a constant smile on his face. A person who never complained about anything, anyone and any situation, absorbed all the pains alone. He never left any shodhyatri alone in the end. He made new friends everywhere and was one of the major custodian of social, ethical, cultural and knowledge capital of SRISTI and the Network.

He was a quiet, bottom-up leader, always supportive, with a cheerful demeanor eager to learn, explore and share. Even during his last journey way home to Devgadh Baria from hospital in Ahmedabad, he was reading newspaper as if impending death did not bother him.

May his soul rest in peace. We all learned from him and his “zindadili”. Maybe God needed him in heaven more than us.

Associated with HBN and SRISTI for nearly 20 years, Parshottambhai was a silent worker with a deep concern for everyone. Many colleagues could not have done their doctoral and other research work without his insightful and sincere help in field. His family and children, of course, suffered silently due to his long absence from home due to his field work. This is the time to pay our debt to them. He was the backbone of every major endeavour of SRISTI since 1998, be it the organization of international conferences, children workshops, women’s studies, pooling information for medicinal plant database, or pooling grassroots innovations and traditional knowledge practices. Several knowledge holders got the National Presidential award at Rashtrapati Bhavan because of his scouting and documentation efforts. When he always ensured that no one is left behind in any Shodhyatra, his empathy and concern for the weak was eloquently evident. In fact, in our institutional inner Shodhyatra, he went far ahead of us. We can not catch up with him. We will miss you Parshottambhai and ensure that struggle for the knowledge rights of weak, invisible, unsung heroes and heroines of our society continues unabated.

We will be holding a prayer meet in the memory of our beloved Parshottambhai on 5th November, Thursday from 3 pm to 4.30 pm at SRISTI office. Parshottambhai’s family representative will be a part of the meet.

Regards, SRISTI family