Medha Patkar, a great social activist is not only an eminent personality of India but also a gentle human being. She has marked her name in the field of social activists and is listed in the top 10 women social activists in India. India is very proud to have her and great hats off to her work.
Medha Patkar worked for political, social and economic rights of Dalits, Tribals, laborers, and farmers. She has also worked for Women’s Rights and Justice in the society. She is a member of Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Medha Patkar came into this world on 1 December 1954 in the state of Mumbai, Maharashtra. Her father, Vasant Khanolkar was a freedom fighter and labor union leader. Her mother was a housewife. She did her MA in TISS with social work as a subject. She worked for 5 years in Mumbai Voluntary organizations for slums. She started working for tribes and left her Ph.D. in the middle because of the heavy work. She did her Ph.D. in social development and its impact traditions.
Medha Patkar is the founder of NAPM which is abbreviated as National Alliance of People’s Movements. It was formed with a motto of providing socio-economic justice, equity, and political rights. The main objective of this organization is to impart unity among people, provide strength to the public and fight against oppression. It also deals with the current development models to know how they are a plus to the society.
Social Activities of Medha Patkar
Medha Patkar with a clear view had a major role in any social and political problems in the society. She mainly dealt with how the construction of dams would affect normal people. She stopped evacuating people from their places unless it is necessary. The main activities of Medha Patkar involve
- Narmada Bachao Andolan
- Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan
- Kovvada Nuclear project
- Golibar Demolition
- Save Sugar Co-operatives Mission
- Tata Nano Plant Sugar
- Hiranandani land scam
Medha Patkar has a prominent role in Narmada Bachao Andolan which began in 1985. It was against the construction of a dam on the Narmada River because it made several people like farmers, fish workers and labors to suffer. Sardar Sarovar, a dam in Gujarat led to the ruining of many people. Almost 40,000 people lost their homes and have been fighting against submergence till date.
Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan was started in 2005 for housing rights in Mumbai. It was started by Medha Patkar when poor people up to 75,000 lost their houses because of the false promises made by the developing projects. She gathered a lot of people, formed communities and still continuing to work for their rights.
Medha Patkar has shown her sturdy opposition to the construction of Kovvada nuclear project in Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh. She says that nuclear project in a great way affects people health and environment.
A great demolition of people took place in the Golibar area on 2nd and 3rd April. It led to the evacuation of houses of more than 200 people for the construction of a project. Medha Patkar with a group of 500 slum people rebelled against this issue and fought for the rights of the local area people.
Medha Patkar led a movement of politicians who tried to occupy the land and machinery of sugar missions. She filed a case against those people and the case is still pending in the Supreme Court.
Medha Patkar protested in the construction of Lavasa project because of the wrong usage of water which led to the suicide of a farmer. She felt that it is a great loss to the city of Nagpur and file a PIL in Supreme Court.
Tata Motors wanted to establish their car manufacturing company at Singur to produce their cars. Medha Patkar fought against the setting up of the Singur plant because of the side effects.
Medha Patkar had an active participation in Hiranandani land scam where there is around 450 billion rupees scam. She along with other activists filed a PIL in Supreme Court against this land scheme.
Awards of Medha Patkar
Medha Patkar in her own way did all the possible things for the rights of lower and poor people. For her activities as a great social activist, she was gifted with many awards.
From the period 1991 to 2014, she has won around 12 awards.
In 1991, she was given “Right Livelihood Award”.
For her work in bringing social justice to the society, she was awarded the “Mother Teresa Award”.
Some more of her awards include:
- Kundal Lal Award for Peace
- Person of The Year BBC
- Goldman Environment Award
- Mahatma Phule Award
- Basavashree Award
- Bhima Bhai Ambedkar Award
- Deena Nath Mangeshkar Award
- Green Ribbon Award
The life story of Medha Patkar is an inspiring one for each and every individual. With social justice as the main theme, she did an amazing work to every poor people. She won the hearts of millions of people with her unique work. She is such a blessed gift to our nation.
Let us share the life story of Medha Patkar with everyone and make the world that she is a great gift to our nation.
Have a great day all !!!!