Noted womens rights activist Sonal Shukla dead

Noted womens rights activist Sonal Shukla died after cardiac arrest in Mumbai on Thursday, a colleague said.

Shukla (80) was the founder and managing trustee of the Vacha Charitable Trust and worked with adolescent girls and women over the last four decades. She was the co-founder of the group Forum Against Rape, now known as the Forum Against Oppression of Women.

Vacha started in 1987 as a library and womens resource centre. It was the first only womens book library with a collection of over 3,000 books. In 1991, it produced two music albums and two documentaries on women in the Independence movement.


Shukla, who trained in Mahatma Gandhis educational methods, had turned her home into a support centre for battered women for two years. She gave space to poor girls to escape from family and community strangleholds through a programme of life skills and community work.

Lovingly known as Sonalben by thousands of adolescent girls and women across India, she tirelessly devoted herself to womens issues.

She was an unusual mix of activism and scholarship, who wrote both in Gujarati and English not only on womens rights issues but also on cultural issues such as music and theatre, scholar and writer Amrit Gangar said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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