We will miss you : Our Friend Jerome D’Souza( January 29, 1970 - July 22, 2021)
I was shocked by the news, our dear friend Jerome is no more. He died due to a heart attack yesterday in the morning. He was a real friend and comrade for his buddy. He was one of the most popular alumni of Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai.
I had my first meeting with Jerome at India International Center, ( IIC)New Delhi. That was in 2008, programs were being organized by a group of organizations to discuss the issues like the cultural and social aspects of development. That was the beginning of our friendship, which never ended. No, matter, where we were based during these times, but we were constantly in touch. Over the years we have developed a great understanding to share and discuss anything on the earth.
I have knowing many people, I can not claim, all of them are my friend but we tried to understand each other. There are two kinds of people on this brink. One is socially oriented and the second is socially committed. Here I am not diminishing one from the other. But, of course, the commitment of Jerome was exceptional. He was the person, who walked beyond the traditional way of building solidarity.
His approach for connecting with people from the marginalized group was exemplary, I am aware of his work and even in many cases, I personally familiar with, how he had helped the people for study, job and to understand the perspective about the development sector. He connected me with such youth for guiding him or her. These kinds of gestures were not done once in a while by him, but he always extended his love and solidarity with people.
When I moved to the Mumbai in 2012, in this job, I have to travel extensively, during my travel to work in the various states of India, People who have been engaging on the issues of civil rights, aware about him and most of them were an admirer of his humility and his commitment of solidarity with people’s issues. Some time ago, we had a long conversation and we had committed to meet soon, whenever, any one of us travel to Delhi or Kolkata. But, this was not completed and our friend Jerome left us. We will never forget his kind friendship and silent work for the people. Your cheerful gesture will be always with us. The way you used to ask many of us, let us meet at least for coffee, and then a long conversation ended with the Dinner/Lunch.
We will certainly go to miss you, especially in this difficult world, where people are afraid to say or take a stand, you were a person, who always speaks truth to the power, don’t be afraid with anything or anyone. Your idea and conversation will be missed by me and many of your friends. I can assure you, we will not deviate with our commitment to peace, justice, and solidarity.