BCfm are sad to report the passing of Batook Pandya MBE Please see the family's press statement below:
Press release for Batook Pandya MBE DL MA (hon) from his family and SARI.
Monday 17th February 2014
Today we are mourning the loss of Batook Pandya MBE DL MA (Hon), Director of SARI (Stand Against Racism & Inequality, formerly Support Against Racist Incidents).
Batook died peacefully in his sleep yesterday morning at home and leaves behind a loving wife, daughter and grandson. The family has issued the following statement:
“Batook’s wife and daughter and grandson would like to thank all those who have shared their condolences and thoughts. He leaves a huge void for all those who knew and loved him but we are so grateful to have known this enormous character who had the capacity to make positive difference everywhere he went. He was a man filled with boundless love and an unforgettable sense of humour.
He will be sorely missed by us all. He was an amazing Dad, an incredible Granddad and a real family man whilst also being a tower of strength for Bristol and the many communities he served. He succeeded at all that he did. He was undefeated by so many challenges. He was tireless in his passions. He succeeded at all his ventures. We cannot imagine life without him now he has left the room. Bristol won’t be the same but we intend to do all we can to continue with his legacy. We ask at this difficult time that you do respect our privacy and please convey all press or formal enquiries via SARI who are supporting the family through this process
SARI would like to add that Batook was a great force in Bristol who spent his life fighting for the rights and equalities of others. His commitment and dedication for standing up for equalities issues not only won him a string of awards but also the hearts of all those he touched in Bristol. For those that knew Batook, he was a man of both passion and compassion for all the communities he served. He strived to leave the world a better place than he found it – and as with everything else he did in life – he certainly succeeded. "
As the founding employee of SARI he took this young organisation, dedicated to fighting racism, from one room in the coach house to an award winning multi-agency organisation which has now evolved to Stand Against Racism & Inequality to further broaden the fight against injustice.
On a personal level SARI will miss his great strength and leadership as well as his endearing smile, sense of humour, and ability to always see the positive and continually move things forward.
Batook worked with many agencies and communities in Bristol and made strong and lasting relationships. This is reflected in all of the messages which have been flowing in since his death showing how truly loved he was by so many.
As an organisation we deeply mourn this loss and wish to say thank you to all those who have been in touch and offered condolences and support. We hope that you will work with us to continue the legacy and spirit that Batook left behind in his message of equality for all.
The community wishes to say, he was a leading member of the Hindu community and former Chair of the Bristol Hindu Temple and constantly turned to for their every need. However it was Batook’s dream to see justice forall minority groups and to always ensure that all communities were served and also encouraged to work together. He never stopped ensuring that ‘Race Equality’ was high on Bristol’s agenda, not diluted and seen as of paramount importance to the City’s success.
The Lord Mayor, Faruk Choudhury says.
“Batook Pandya MBE was one of the greatest men of our City and is a huge loss for the City and especially the ethnic minorities. He was genuinely a star in our community. I knew him for many years and every time I met him he was talking about how to work for ethnic minorities and how to overcome the issues and blocks they were facing. He never stopped trying to build a better Bristol. This is a very sad moment for our community indeed”.