Intended for healthcare professionals


Amit Sengupta: founder and advocate of the People’s Health Movement in India

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 07 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:k5427
  1. Jeetha D’Silva
  1. Mumbai, India
  1. j.dsilva{at}

In death, as in life, Amit Sengupta was recognised as one of the most vocal advocates of universal access to healthcare and a leader of the People’s Health Movement (PHM), a network of organisations committed to democratising global health governance. As news of his untimely death spread, PHM’s website was inundated with tributes from across the globe.

“Amit was a great defender of the human right to health. His enthusiasm, energy, deep knowledge, and clear thinking were great assets to the health movement. His legacy will remain for generations to come.”

“Amit was a steadfast and determined activist, a pillar of the global people’s movement. You could always count on him to speak up for the oppressed, the marginalised, and the voiceless.”

“Amit Sengupta believed in, represented, and defended the values of the People’s Health Movement and advocated health for all. While he is no longer around, we, as a global community of health advocates, are challenged to fill the void he left, a massive challenge and one that will require both, as he put it, ‘purposeful optimism’ and ingenuity in order to achieve health for all in our lifetime.”

Health activism

Sengupta was a true champion of the masses. Born in Kolkata in 1958, he studied medicine at Maulana Azad Medical College in Delhi, where he organised and participated in a number of student led agitations. As a young doctor, he used his newly acquired medical skills to help others in times of need. He provided …

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