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Weak bodies, strong will

Friday, August 26, 2011
By Neha Ghatpande

Blood, urine samples of people fasting at Azad Maidan taken even most say they are prepared to continue to starve

‘We will go on till the end with Anna’ – the message at Azad Maidan remained clear on Thursday. Seventeen people have been fasting since August 16, backing Anna Hazare’s fight against corruption. On Thursday, for the first time since the hunger strike began, blood and urine samples of all those fasting at Azad Maidan were collected, to check their sugar levels and blood pressure.

Dr. Kalpna Kamani, who has been with the fasting team since day one, explained, “As it’s been 10 days, they are all weak physically, but have a strong will to continue indefinitely. Some of them are suffering from hyperacidity, as their stomachs are empty. We have taken blood and urine samples and the reports will come soon. We must make sure that their kidneys are working fine.”

When the anti-corruption crusade began, almost 60 people were on hunger strike, but as time passed many gave up because of their health issues.

The organisation India Against Corruption (IAC) also told the supporters that they can back the moment even without going on a hunger strike.

“I will fast till I can; it’s indefinite and my health is very good. I am here to support the anti-corruption movement. We are disappointed with the government’s approach towards our movement. But, we all know that Anna is well and stronger than all of us to give shape to this movement,” stated Dr. Ratna Magotra (64), a cardiac surgeon who has been fasting from the beginning.

Abaji Bali Chavhan, a 70-year-old retired government employee, is also among the ones fasting. A resident of Malad, whose family is scared and waiting for him to come back, he is confident that he can go on till the end. “My health is fine and I will fast till Anna does. I have spent 30 years of my life fighting corruption through court cases. Corruption can ruin normal lives,” said Chavhan.

The recent developments have suggested that Anna might end his fast once the discussion on the Jan Lokpal Bill starts in Parliament.


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