Category Archives : 1000.India

Malika Virdi (India)

Breaking the silence, Malika Virdi believes, is the starting point of any struggle-and she has broken many silences in her fight for women’s rights. Starting with work in relief camps of women victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Malika Virdi (born 1958) has concerned herself with a series of issues connected to women’s rights. She […]


Nasreen Bano (India)

“In this competitive world, it is a must for every woman to undergo some vocational training. A woman should fit herself as a prominent pillar of the family.” Nasreen Bano (born 1978) has been working as a community mobilizer and trainer at the Self-Employed Women’s Association (Sewa) in Lucknow for more than a decade. While […]

Runa Banerjee (India)

Runa believes that to empower women, it is necessary to work toward the holistic development of their families and community. Empowerment must be social, economic, and political rolled into one. Runa Banerjee (born 1950) set up the Self-Employed Women’s Association (Sewa) in Lucknow in 1984 after she realized that self-employment was the only real answer […]



Chekkottu Kariyan Janu (India)

“There are academics who believe that Adivasis lack the capacity to act on their own. There are those in Kerala who think that they are vanavasis, forest-dwellers, like the elephant, the leopard.” Chekkottu Kariyan Janu (born 1970) is the unquestioned leader of the indigenous peoples in Kerala. Formally uneducated, what she has nevertheless done is […]

Sheila Didi (India)

Sheila Didi has fought injustice against women in many forms-at the workplace, as targets of communal violence, and as victims of domestic violence. Since her childhood, Sheila Didi (born 1928) has been a passionate supporter of causes: first, it was the cause of independence in Kenya, where she grew up; at university, she embraced students’ […]



America Devi (India)

Initially, not many people were willing to take a few uneducated women-protesting without the support of their husbands-seriously, but America Devi changed all that. America Devi, from the Mushar community in Dalit Bihar’s heartland, started her journey in activism as part of the Lok Shakti Sangathan. Becoming part of their campaign was only the first […]

Tiliya Devi (India)

Tiliya has managed to bring dignity to the people of an entire community, rallying them to fight for their rights against traditionally superior forces. A Mushar (Dalit community) woman, Tiliya Devi fought opposition from all quarters-including within her home-to bring about a better life for her downtrodden community. Along the way, she succeeded in rallying […]


Tsering Lahdol (India)

Gynecologist Tsering Lahdol has been an extremely effective agent for social change in Ladakh, thanks to her humane approach and her ability to relate to people. Gynecologist Tsering Lahdol lives and works in the mountainous region of Ladakh. When she started her work, healthcare facilities in the region were extremely basic. Today, thanks in no […]

Parveena Ahangar (India)

Parveena Ahangar has been the voice of the “disappeared” for over a decade. When her son was abducted by the army in Kashmir, she promptly formed the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons. Parveena Ahangar (born approximately 1957) is an extraordinary woman who has risen above personal trauma to rally against injustice. The mother of […]



Maglin Peter (India)

Maglin judiciously balanced her fieldwork with acute intellectual perceptions of the multiple contradictions in society, such as gender, ecology, community, and class. Maglin Peter (born 1970) has been deeply involved with issues faced by women fish vendors. She has managed to organize the strength of the fish vendors and elicit from them a creative and […]