Medha Patkar was born on 1 December 1954. She is an Indian social activist working on various crucial political and economical issues raised by Adivasis, Dalits,Farmers, labourers and Women facing injustice in India. She is an alumnus of TISS, a premier institute of India.
Patkar is the founder member of the 32 years old people’s movement called Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) in three states: Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) has been engaged in a struggle for justice for the people affected by the dam projects related to the Sardar Sarovar dams project, especially those whose homes will be submerged, but have not yet been rehabilitated. She is also one of the founders of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), an alliance of hundreds of progressive people’s organisations.
In addition to the above, Patkar was a commissioner on the World Commission on Dams, which did a thorough research on the environmental, social, political and economic aspects and impacts of the development of large dams globally and their alternatives. She was the national co-ordinator and then convenor of National Alliance of People’s Movements for many years and now continues to be an advisor to NAPM. Under the banner of NAPM she has participated in and supported various mass struggles across India against inequity, non-sustainability, displacement and injustice in the name of development. Her work challenges Casteism, Communalism and all kinds of discrimination. She has been a part of numerous teams and panels that work on initiating and formulating various national policies and enactments including those related to land acquisition, unorganized sector workers, hawkers, slum-dwellers and forest-dweller Adivasis. NAPM filed a number of public interest litigations including those against Adarsh society, Lavasa Megacity, Hiranandani(Powai) and as well as other builders.