Magasaysay award winner and well known social activist Baba Amte has been diagnosed to have leukaemia. "Bone marrow tests show that Amte is suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome (CMML-2 - a type of blood cancer)," a bulletin issued by the Avanti Institute of Cardiology, where Amte is undergoing treatment, said.
Amte will require lifelong treatment in the form of antibiotics and blood transfusions, the bulletin said about the 93-year-old activist.
Maharasthra Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil called on Amte in the evening. Two specialists from Leelavati Hospital, Mumbai, also met him.
Known equally for his lifelong service to leprosy patients in his Maharashtra ashram near Nagpur and his opposition to the construction of big dams on environmental grounds - especially the dams on the Narmada river - Amte has been afflicted with a spinal disease for many years that does not allow him to sit; he can either lie down or stand. But without letting this physical challenge to overcome him, Amte has now been spending more than 15 years in a Madhya Pradesh village on the banks of the Narmada in a symbolic protest against the construction of dams on the river.