• Monday, Aug 15, 2022
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Indian feminist icon Kamla Bhasin passes away at 75

  • Published at 11:38 am September 25th, 2021
Kamla Bhasin
Kamla Bhasin Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

She had been diagnosed with cancer a few months ago

Eminent Indian women’s rights activist, author and social scientist, Kamla Bhasin, has passed away, several media reports confirmed citing activist Kavita Srivastava who revealed the obituary on Twitter.

She was 75 and had been diagnosed with cancer a few months ago, reports The Free Press Journal.

“Kamla Bhasin, our dear friend, passed away around 3am today 25th Sept. This is a big setback for the women’s movement in India and the South Asian region,” Kavita tweeted. “She celebrated life whatever the adversity. Kamla you will always live in our hearts. In Sisterhood, which is in deep grief.”

Since the 1970s, Bhasin has been a prominent voice in the women’s movement both in India, as well as in other South Asian countries. 

In 2002, she founded the feminist network ‘Sangat’, which works with underprivileged women from rural and tribal communities, often using non-literary tools such as plays, songs and art, according to The Indian Express.

Bhasin has authored several books on gender theory, feminism and understanding patriarchy, many of which have been translated into more than 30 languages.

Born 24 April 1946 in Rajasthan, Bhasin was the fourth of six children of her doctor father.

She is best known for poem Kyunki main ladki hoon, mujhe padhna hai (Since I'm a girl, I don't need to study).

A social scientist by training, she was actively engaged with issues related to development, education, gender, media and several others for over 35 years. She began her work for the empowerment of the rural and urban poor in 1972, with a voluntary organization in Rajasthan, India. 

From 1976 to 2001, she worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN. She resigned from her job at the UN in 2002, to work with Sangat, of which she is a founder member and Adviser.