Goa’s leading social activist Adv Satish Sonak collapses in court, dies
Panaji Goa, April 7: Goa’s leading social activist and firebrand student leader of ‘80s, Adv Satish Sonak, died of heart failure today morning. He was 59 years old. Adv Sonak collapsed in the court of Panaji while he was attending a case. He was rushed to the GMC hospital but could not be revived.
His funeral is on Saturday, 8th April at 10 am. According to his wish, his eyes were donated. He is survived by his mother Dr Vibhavari, wife and Goa’s eminent artist Harshada Kerkar, brother Justice Mahesh Sonak and sister Sushma Sonak.
Adv Sonak has been in various social movements from student days and was the leader of the All Goa Students’ Union that led state-wide agitations over issues like 50 per cent bus concession, marks scandal, capitation college etc. He was the President of Goa Peoples’ Forum, which was formed a decade ago by former students’ activists of various students’ organisations of yesteryears to take up social issues.
Adv Sonak practised law not only as a professional lawyer but fought several cases for the downtrodden and helpless people, free of cost. He was the most frequent lawyer before the Goa Human Rights Commission right from its inception and had sought justice in several cases for human rights.
The most recent ones were public crematoriums for all faiths as well as for the non-believers and for the basic living rights of Vanarmare community, whose huts were demolished by the people of Nirankal-Behtoda. He had filed his last petition before the Commission, seeking justice for the Lamanai vendors against whom the Goa Government has started a drive to whisk them away from the beaches.
He had also immensely contributed to the Right to Information Movement as well as the movement of India Against Corruption led by Anna Hazare. Known to be a sentimental person to the core, Adv Sonak was also working consistently among the special children, through an organisation Anam Prem as well as among the transgenders.
Working as a one-person brigade, Adv Sonak was also exposing several misdeeds in the society and injustice meted out to the toiling masses through his newspaper writings. He was equally vociferous in fighting the menace of casinos that has now financially started ruling the state of Goa.