The Catholic Church in Odisha in India mourned the death of social activist Paul Pradhan, who had worked for women’s empowerment and the rights of Tribals and Dalits in the country’s eastern state.
Pradhan died on July 10 in Laxmisagar, a suburb in Bhubaneswar, the state capital. He was 72. The funeral was held July 11 in Bareguda, his village in Kandhamal district.
He is survived by his wife, two daughters and four sons.
“Pradhan’s death is a huge loss and vacuum for us,” said Father Ajaya Singh, who had worked with the activists from 2001.
According to Father Singh, former director of Jana Vikas, a social wing of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, Pradhan had led from the front those on the margins.
“You would live forever. Your heart beat for Adivasi and Minorities. You had inspired many with your life,” Father Singh said.
Pradhan was born on July 1, 1949, at Bareguda under Sacred Heart Padangi parish of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archdiocese.
Its parish priest Vincentian Father Joseph Naik said Pradhan was “a great asset for the Church and in the region” as he was always willing to stand for the rights of the people.
“He was regular for the liturgical service and parish activities,” the priest told Matters India.