Indien: Mrinal Gore

Mrinal Gore's sacrifice of her medical career for lifelong social activism was one of a kind with postindependence idealism and the establishment of a democratic superstructure of governance.

— Mrinal Gore

Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's Quit India exhortation as a youngster, Mrinal Gore (born 1928) chucked in a promising career in medicine to devote herself to organizing the poor and the disenfranchised. For more than half a century, she has been involved with a series of organizations and leading protests both on the streets and in the corridors of power, focusing on women's rights, civil rights, communal harmony, and trade union activities.

As a young woman, Mrinal Gore gave up a career in medicine and became a full-timer with the Rashtriya Seva Dal (a wing of the congress party), organizing housewives for sociopolitical work, and later joined the socialist party. In 1950, Mrinal became secretary of the Goregaon Mahila Mandal, working for the uplift of women in the Bombay suburb; the following year, the organization established a family planning center. In 1961, when she was elected to the Bombay Municipal Corporation, Mrinal began the long, arduous struggle to get waterlines and an adequate water quota for the city's thronging poor and lower-middle-class inhabitants. Success took many dry years to arrive. In 1972, Mrinal was elected to the Maharashtra legislative assembly on a socialist party ticket. Mrinal was instrumental in setting up the Anti-Price Rise Committee in 1972, which had mobilized the largest ever turnout of women since the independence movement. Mrinal, who vehemently protested the then prime minister Indira Gandhi's imposition of the draconian emergency in 1975, was elected to parliament in 1977. In 1983, Mrinal established Swadhar, a support center for women victims of domestic violence, and the Committee for Action Against Atrocities on Women. The Shramjeevi Mahila Sangh was also established under her leadership, set up expressly for women employees who were not taking part in the activities of the general union. In 1985, when she was elected to the Maharashtra legislative assembly, she continued taking up issues concerning women and other oppressed sections of society. Her most notable legislative action was introducing a bill to prevent sex determination tests that often led to female feticide. Through a resolution in 1986, the government finally banned these tests.

Swadhar Keshav Gore Smarak Trust (KGST)