Medha Patkar is an Indian social activist working on various economic and political issues raised by Dalits, labourers and tribals in India. She is popularly known for her work with the people displaced by the Narmada Valley Development Project.
Biography of Medha Patkar
Born on 1st December 1954, Medha is 67 years old as of 2022. She is popularly known as Medha Tai. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science from Ruia College and earned a master’s degree in social science from Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Early Life of Medha Patkar
Medha Patkar was born as Medha Khanolkar in Mumbai, Maharashtra. She is the daughter of a freedom fighter and labour union leader, Vasant Khanolkar. Her mother, Indumati Khanolkar, was a Gazetted officer in Post and Telegraphs Department.
Career of Medha Patkar
Medha’s success as an activist can be well-defined by her roots . Unlike her parents, Medha also decided to work upon the issues faced by Dalits, tribals, labourers and women in India. Medha since her early days has voiced her opinion against communalism, casteism and all the other forms of discrimination.
Medha is the founder member of 32 years old movement Narmada Bachao Andolan. Also, she is one of the founders of the National Alliance for the People’s Movement. Besides, she is also the commissioner of the World Commission of Dams.
Career as an Activist
Medha as an activist worked with the voluntary organizations in Mumbai’s slums for five years and tribal districts of North East districts of Gujarat for three years. She also worked as a member of the faculty at TISS but later left her position to start the fieldwork. Medha was a PhD scholar at TISS but after working up to their M.Phil, she left her PhD unfinished to focus on her work towards society.
Career in Politics
In 2004, Medha and the other members of NAPM started a political party ‘The people’s Political Front’. Although Medha did not participate as an active politician but organized fifteen days of state-level campaigns for the same.
In 2014, Medha joined Aam Aadmi Party and along with her party, NAPM provided support to the party during the Lok Sabha campaign. Following this, she also contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from North East Mumbai. But unfortunately, she lost the election. Later in 2015, she resigned from the party.
Controversies that Medha Patkar faced during the social activism
Medha Patkar’s journey as an activist has not been easy as she has faced several controversies while fighting for people’s rights. She alleged corruption and atrocities by builders in the city’s slum rehabilitation scheme. She also called for the halting of six projects by the Slum Rehabilitation Property until a proper inquiry was conducted. However, the enquiry failed to give a proper solution a result of which the communities continued with their struggle.
Awards and Achievements
Medha Patkar is a prominent social activist and has received huge recognition for her work. She has won many awards such as the Right Livelihood Award (1991), Goldman Environment Award (1992), Matoshree Bhimabai Ambedkar Award (2013), Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice (2014) and many more.
Inspired by her parents, Medha has raised her voice against numerous social issues. She has helped the Dalits, tribals, labourers, farmers and fishers living near the Narmada valley from getting displaced from their homes. She along with her supporters has organized many rallies and protests to help the residents of the Narmada Valley. Hence she can be regarded as one of the most prominent activists of India.
Who is Medha Patkar?
Medha Patkar is an Indian social activist working on various economic and political issues raised by Dalits, labourers and tribals in India. She is popularly known for her work with people displaced by the Narmada Valley Project.
How old is Medha Patkar?
Born on 1st December 1954, Medha is 67 years old as of 2022.