Labour leader Subash Sareen, credited with setting up the first tenant panchayat samiti in Pimpri-Chinchwad, died on Friday. He was 78. He is survived by his wife, son and two daughters.
Sareen was also associated with the Pimpri-Chinchwad Karmachari Mahasangh. “In 1972-73, when Pimpri-Chinchwad had begun to expand as an industrial city, with outsiders settling in, tenants needed protection from the whimsical ways of landlords. It was Sareen who took the initiative in setting up the tenant panchayat samiti. He followed a Leftist ideology and always carried everyone together,” said activist Manav Kamble.
Kamble said Sareen was well-versed with civic laws. “He had a deep knowledge of civic laws which even civic officials were not aware of. He used his knowledge to secure justice for the civic staff,” he said.
“He fought relentlessly, not just for the civic staff but for the poor, Dalit and industrial workers, and helped them live with dignity,” added Kamble.
Another activist, Madhu Joshi, said, “I have lost a friend, a comrade and someone who all his life fought for the cause of workers, the middle-class and the poor. Before he took up their issues, Sareen ensured that he was well updated and knew even the minutest details of the issue. Small wonder then he would more often than not win an argument,” he said.
Sareen was from Punjab but had settled down in Pimpri-Chinchwad. He lived in Pradhikaran area and, till a few months ago, was often seen at PCMC headquarters interacting with journalists and civic officials, guiding them.
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