Obituary for Sunil Das

In March 2024, we visited our long-standing partner association AGAMEE in India. We were particularly keen to pay a visit to Sunil Das, who has been seriously ill since October 2023, and present him with a personal gift from Christine Weitmann. The two have been friends for over 30 years. Independently of each other, they once told me that working together for the poor people in India was the best time of their lives. I am now Chairman of AGAPE e.V. and can say that I understand them both very well in this short period of my work. The gratitude of these poor people is not shown in words and gestures, it is the sparkle in their eyes at the glimmer of hope they have experienced that drives me again and again to do the often arduous and voluntary work.


We visited Sunil and his wife Aliva three times during our stay in Kolkata. Heavily marked by his illness, Sunil nevertheless welcomed us with joy.
It almost seemed as if he had been waiting for us during the months of his illness. We spent the next three days with his daughters visiting AGAMEE's projects in Gobardanga and Purulia in the Calcutta hinterland. These projects were taken over or founded by Sunil's daughters Debkalpa Basu and Dhreetikalpa Aich and are being implemented in a remarkably committed manner. Back in Kolkata, we congratulated Sunil on his life's work and his wonderful daughters. We presented him with a white scarf, which is given in Buddhist culture as a sign of welcome and recognition. We assured him that we would continue to support AGAMEE's projects and thus continue his work for more justice in the world. And there it was - the strange sparkle in his eyes.


We saw him again very briefly, then visibly in a worse state. You could almost think he was still waiting for this gesture and the continuation of his life's work. Then he let go of his earthly life and died just four days later. May he rest in peace!


Sunil was a very remarkable person, and also a highly educated and much respected professor, author and artist in India. Here is a movie about Sunil's life's work (Indian with English subtitles).

As well as the following pictures by Christine Weitmann from his work for AGAMEE/AGAPE: 


Sunil (on the right with the microphone) at the opening of the school in Rampura.


Sunil with a student - Due to a lack of good teaching material, Sunil wrote a textbook for the students of the AGAPE/AGAMEE schools himself.



Sunil's great passion was theater (Sunil in the middle, standing). His self-written plays were performed nationally and internationally, but also in the poorest villages and slums. They dealt with topics such as equal opportunities, gender equality, child marriages, self-confidence of children and young people as well as domestic violence. The plays have changed people's perceptions and offer help and a platform for those affected. AGAMEE still works today with theater courses and Sunil's plays in schools.


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