Medha Patkar has been fighting for the right to life and livelihood of those sections of people who get nudged to the sidewalks of life in a nation's search for growth and prosperity. Her struggle, spanning 21 years, is against an unjust system that deprives common people - especially the natural resource-based communities - who pay the cost for the benefit of those who already have much more with them.
Her own words, best reflect her wisdom, her vision and the meaning of life according to her. "I have raised the issue of mega projects, the development planning, democratic and human rights, economics and corruption of monitory and natural resources by such projects and suggested that just and sustainable alternatives in water, energy and other sectors are possible," says she.
Patkar was born in Mumbai. After earning an MA in social work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, she worked with voluntary organizations in Bombay slums and with tribal districts of North-East Gujarat. She got immersed in the tribal and peasant communities in Maharashtra, M.P. and Gujarat - which became the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
The NBA Movement was a fight for information about the Narmada Valley Development Projects and continued for rehabilitation for the lakhs of people ousted by the Sardar Sarovar Dam and other large dams along the Narmada.
Patkar has gained fame through the Andolan. She is one of the recipients of Right Livelihood Award for the year 1991. She has received numerous other awards, including the Deena Nath Mangeshkar Award, Mahatma Phule Award, Goldman Environment Prize, Green Ribbon Award for Best International Political Campaigner by BBC, and the Human Rights Defender's Award from Amnesty International.