Kamala Bhasin

Feminist activist, author and a stalwart of the women’s rights movement in India, Kamla Bhasin, passed away on Saturday morning. She was 75.

The feminist icon was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago.

“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,” said activist Kavita Srivastava in a tweet.

“She celebrated life whatever the adversity. Kamla you will always live in our hearts. In Sisterhood, which is in deep grief,” Srivastava added.

Born on April 24, 1946 in Rajasthan, Bhasin is best known for her work with Sangat – A Feminist Network and for her poem Kyunki main ladki hoon, mujhe padhna hai.

A social scientist by training, she was actively engaged with issues related to development, education, gender, media and several others for over 35 years.

Bhasin began her work for the empowerment of the rural and urban poor in 1972, with a voluntary organization in Rajasthan. She also worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN.

She resigned from her job at the U.N. in 2002, to work with Sangat, which works with underprivileged women from rural and tribal communities, often using non-literary tools such as plays, songs and art.

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