Early Life of Medha Patkar
Medha Patkar was born on 1 December 1954 in Mumbai, Maharashtra to Vasant and Indu Khanolkar. Her parents are also socially and politically active. Her father had an active participation in the freedom struggle of India and had later assisted the organizational efforts of trade union. Her mother is associated with a women's organization called Swadhar. Medha's perspective and views were greatly influenced by her parent's activism and she was expected to serve people through her career. She earned her Master's Degree from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in social work. Subsequently she worked for about 5 years with voluntary organizations in Mumbai's slums. She also worked for 2 years for the tribal districts of North-East Gujarat. Later she left her job as the faculty of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences along with her unfinished Ph.D and devoted herself completely for working with peasant and tribal communities in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Eventually her work led to the development of Narmada Bachao Andolan.
Career of Medha Patkar
Medha Patkar has founded Narmada Bachao Andolan and is still working with it along with a huge mass from peasant and tribal communities. She has led peaceful protests and massive marches against the construction of India's Sardar Sarovar Dam which submerged vast expanses of farmland and forests, displacing huge tribal population. She has also founded the National Alliance of People's Movements for promoting unity and providing strength to the country for fighting against oppression. Her work with World Commission on Dams included a detailed research and in depth recommendations for planning and building of large dams. She has also raised her voice against the Lavasa city along with other villagers, protesting against the environmental damage in Nagpur. She had shown her open support to the anti-corruption campaign of Anna Hazare, supporting the Jan Lokpal Bill. She has also extended her services to Save Sugar-Cooperatives Mission and many other social causes through various projects and campaigns.
Achievements of Medha Patkar
Medha Patkar has been honoured with several accolades for her valuable contribution to the Indian society. In 1991 she received Right Livelihood Award. In the following year she got Goldman Environment Award while in 1995 she received Green Ribbon Award for Best International Political Campaigner by BBC England. In the year 1999 she received four awards namely Human Rights Defender's Award from Amnesty International, Germany, M.A. Thomas National Human Rights Award from Vigil India Movement, Deena Nath Mangeshkar Award and Mahatma Phule Award.