Medha Patkar joined Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra on November 17 in Maharashtra. The photos of Rahul Gandhi speaking to the activist with his hand on Medha Patkar’s shoulder was tweeted by the party. BJP slams congress and Rahul Gandhi for joining hands with activist Medha Patkar.
Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel questioned Medha Patkar’s presence at the yatra and said Congress and Rahul Gandhi have time and again shown their animosity towards Gujarat and Gujaratis.
By giving Medha Patkar a central place in his yatra, Rahul Gandhi shows that he stands with those elements who denied water to Guajarati’s for decades. Gujarat will not tolerate this, said Gujarat Chief Minister said.
Who is Medha Patkar?
Medha Patkar is a social activist and former politician. Medha works on various crucial political and economic issues raised by tribal, Dalits, farmers, laborer’s and women facing injustice in India. She is an alumnus of TISS, a premier institute of social science research in India.
Medha Patkar was born as Medha Khanolkar on 1st December 1954 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Medha is the daughter of Vasant Khanolker, a freedom fighter and labor union leader and her mother Indumati Khanolkar, a gazette officer in the Post and Telegraphs Department. She has one brother, Mahesh Khanolkar, an architect.
Medha Khanolkar earned an MA in Social work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She was married for seven years (hence her surname Patkar) but the marriage ended in divorce.
Medha Patkar worked with voluntary organizations in Mumbai’s slums for 5 years and tribal districts of North-East districts of Gujarat for three years. She worked as a member of the faculty at Tata Institute of Social Sciences but left her position to take up the fieldwork.
She was a PH.D. scholar at TISS, studying Economic development and its impact on traditional societies. After working up to M.Phil. level she left her unfinished Ph.D. when she became immersed in her work with the tribal and peasant communities in the Narmada valley spread over three states.
Medha’s social campaigns
- Narmada Bachao Andolan
- Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan
- National Alliance of People’s Movements
- Tata Nano Plant Singur
- Nandigram land grab resistance
- Golibar Demolition
- Save Sugar-Cooperatives Mission
- Hiranandani land scam
- Kovvada Nuclear project
- K-Rail (Silverline) Project
- JSW Steel project
She and her organization, the National People’s Movement Alliance supported the Aam Admi Party during Lok Sabha’s campaign.
Patkar was also a candidate for the Aam Aadmi party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections for the North East Mumbai constituency. She lost, garnering 8.9% of the votes cast in the Northeast Mumbai constituency. On March 28, 2015 she resigned as a key member of her Aam Aadmi Party.
She received many awards and honors in between 1991-2014 of which few are “Person of the year BBC”. Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice and Basavashree Award.