It is with deep sorrow and regret that we inform your that one of our very own, Nitin More, passed away on the 26th of January 2011.
Nitin was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2009 for the wonderful work he did with women living in the slums of Dharavi, Mumbai. He set up an organization, LEARN Mahila Kamgar Sanghatan (LEARN Women Worker's Union), which served women who worked as daily wage earners, domestic workers, factory workers or ran small home-based businesses. Through this organization, which was run and managed by the women themselves, Nitin spread awareness amongst the women of their rights, helped them unionize and collectively demand better working conditions and address social security needs such as safety, sustainable livelihoods, fare wages, health, citizenship, and access to food and fuel.
One of the most immediate impacts of his work has been that several of these historically marginalized women today have received Ration Cards, Voter IDs and property ownership documents. But the deeper and more sustaining impact has been the sense of empowerment, collaboration and confidence the women have developed. Due to this, the women are able to define priorities and needs for themselves and collectively lobby with public offices towards achieving them. On a more personal note, Nitin had communicated with the Ashoka team that he was most proud of the fact that the women were also now determined to stand for local election and enter the public space themselves.
Nitin is survived by his wife, Ayesha and four year old daughter, Benisha, with another baby on the way in a few months.
Nitin's loss is deeply mourned by the Ashoka family. We have lost one of our brightest and youngest stars. Our thoughts and wishes and with his family and friends.