US-born Indian author-activist Gail Omvedt passes away

US-born Indian author-activist Gail Omvedt passes away

The Dalit-Bahujan, Adivasis, women and human rights champion was 81

Gail Omvedt. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

United States-born Indian scholar, activist and writer Dr Gail Omvedt passed away at Kasegaon in Sangli district on Wednesday.

The Dalit-Bahujan, Adivasis, women and human rights champion was 81.

She is survived by her husband Dr Bharat Patankar, daughter Prachi, son-in-law Tejaswi and granddaughter Nia, who have settled in the US.

Omvedt had been associated with the Shramik Mukti Dal, which follows an ideology not simply based on Marxism but on Marx-Phule-Ambedkarism. 

Omvedt's dissertation was titled "Cultural Revolt in a Colonial Society: The Non-Brahman Movement in Western India, 1873-1930".

Besides having undertaken many research projects, Dr Omvedt has been a consultant for FAO, UNDP and NOVIB and has served as a Dr Ambedkar Chair Professor at NISWASS in Odisha, a professor of sociology at the Savitribai Phule Pune University and an Asian guest professor at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Copenhagen.

She was a senior fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and research director of the Krantivir Trust. 

An Indian citizen since 1983, Dr Omvedt was born in Minneapolis and studied at Carleton College and at UC Berkeley where she earned her PhD in sociology in 1973. 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox