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India: We are with you, Teesta Setalvad: Dozens of letters pour in every week

Tuesday 9 August 2022, by siawi3


We are with you, Teesta Setalvad: Dozens of letters pour in every week

Well-wishers including fellow activists, students and ordinary citizens are sending postcards

CJP Team

05 Aug 2022

Letter to Teesta

Even as journalist, educationist and human rights defender Teesta Setalvad remains incarcerated at the Sabarmati Jail in Ahmedabad, on trumped up charges, foisted upon her by a vindictive regime, there has been no dearth of support for her. Every day, dozens of postcards are being delivered to her.

The writers include her well-wishers, partner organisations from across the country and even school students who are part of CJP’s Khoj – a secular education program taught in middle-schools in different states.

Teesta Setalvad, an internationally renowned human rights defender, is being persecuted by a vindictive regime. As she remains in captivity, your words of support bear special meaning to her. You can send your postcards to: Teesta Setalvad, Ahmedabad Madyasth Jail Vibag 2, Sabarmati Bai ward, Ahmedabad – 380027, Gujarat, or email them on insolidaritywithteesta


The post cards started coming in shortly after the human rights defender was incarcerated. However, their numbers increased shortly after the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) which is a partner organization of CJP held a meeting with other Delhi-based rights groups. At this meeting, the participants condemned the incarceration and persecution of various activists and dissenters and resolved to start a postcard campaign in solidarity with Teesta Setalvad.

While some letters are written in English, many are in Hindi and other vernacular languages. For example, one Mahendra writes in Hindi, “All of us villagers are worried about your health in jail.” He goes on to say, “It is your sustained nationwide human rights campaign that has helped us get our rights.” He refers to how CJP had helped Forest Rights Defenders Sokalo Gond and Nivada Rana move Supreme Court in 2019 asserting community forest rights for forest dwellers and forest working people under the Forest Rights Act and opposing their eviction from their traditional habitats. “You helped the voice of marginalized people reach the highest court, you also used Constitutional means to help secure release of forest rights defenders. We pray for your release.”

“I salute and support your struggle,” writes Seema Azad, who also sent a Hindi poem that roughly translates as, “You thought I was made of wax, but when exposed to heat, I turned into iron.”

“We are with you,” writes Mahtab Ahmed from Varanasi. “Teesta Setalvad is a great social worker,” writes Saleema. Another Varanasi resident Azizur Rehman writes, “You are the voice of the poor and the workers. We support you fully and the country needs you.”

Raj Chauhan from Delhi writes, “In this time of your fight for justice, I stand in solidarity with you and CJP.”


Sanober, a class 8 student from Varanasi writes, “We are with you. We know you have done nothing wrong. We hope you are released soon.”

There are many like Sanober who have benefited from KHOJ, and are now writing to express their gratitude and support for “Teesta ma’am”.

Anisha Parveen, another such class 8 student writes, “I really like my KHOJ classes and am praying for you.”

Yusra Bibi writes, “I wish you success in your humanitarian work, and appeal to the government to release you soon.”

Some of the letters and pictures may be viewed here:

Photo: KHOJ program children writing letters to Teesta Setalva