Indian Politician Maneka Gandhi Biography

General Studies Question Bank CD Maneka Gandhi, belonging to the Nehru – Gandhi Family, is a woman social activist working for animal welfare in India.

Maneka Gandhi is an Indian Politician, Animal Rights Activist, Former Journalist Environmentalist, and the Widow of Influential Indian Politician, Sanjay Gandhi. Her son is Varun Gandhi. Maneka Gandhi was born on 26 August 1956.

Maneka Gandhi has been a minister in four governments, and has authored a number of books concerning the areas of etymology, law and animal welfare. Maneka Gandhi, though not attached much with the political scenario of Nehru – Gandhi Family, Maneka Gandhi is popular for her own strong views and hold in Indian social welfare committees. Maneka Gandhi was born in Delhi and completed her education at the prestigious Lawrence School, Sanawar and later at Lady Shriram College in New Delhi.

Maneka Gandhi was the campaigner in the case of Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India, a 1979 case involving freedom of movement. Maneka Gandhi formed the Sanjay Vichar Manch ( “Platform for Sanjay’s Thought” ) in 1983 and joined the Janata Dal in 1988. Maneka Gandhi was elected as the general secretary of Janata Dal during 1988 – 1989. Maneka Gandhi won her first election in 1989 and served as Minister of the Environment from 1989 to 1991 in the cabinet of V.P. Singh. Maneka Gandhi created the Department for Animal Welfare and served as its Minister along with her other commitments.

While Maneka Gandhi was Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Maneka Gandhi actively participated in the Indian pension reforms effort, through the early phase of Project OASIS.

General Studies Question Bank CD OASIS is an acronym for Old Age Social and Income Security. Maneka Gandhi played the major role in the initiation and early thinking on these issues, going up to the point where it was transferred to the Ministry of Finance for implementation.

Maneka Gandhi is an environmentalist who brought the issue of animal rights into mainstream. Maneka Gandhi was appointed chairwoman of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals ( CPCSEA ) in 1995.

The CPCSEA gradually imposed restrictions that brought some of the abuse to a stop. Maneka Gandhi started the organisation People for Animals in 1992 and it is the largest organisation for animal welfare in India. Maneka Gandhi also anchored a weekly Television program named “Heads and Tails” highlighting sufferings meted out to animals due to their business exploitation. Maneka Gandhi runs an NGO, People for Animals, which has its shelters across India.

Maneka Gandhi is the widow of Sanjay Gandhi, the son of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. A former model and editor of Surya India magazine, Maneka Gandhi entered politics in 1982 after her husband’s death in a plane crash.

Maneka Gandhi is a superb writer and authored many books like Etymological Directories; Plant Mythology; Animal Activism and Laws and many others. Maneka Gandhi is an active member of Worldwide Fund for Nature ( WWF ) and a trustee of Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Shelter and Hospital.

Maneka Gandhi has earned the following prestigious awards for her contribution in the Society :
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  • Lord Erskine Award from the RSPCA, 1992.
  • Environmentalist and Vegetarian of the year 1994.
  • Marchig Animal Welfare Trust Prize, Switzerland, 1997.
  • Bhagwan Mahaveer Award for Excellence in sphere of Truth, Non – violence & Vegetarianism, 1999.
  • Prani Mitra Award, 1996.
  • Maharana Mewar Foundation Award, 1996 for Environmental work.
  • Venu Menon Animal Allies Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999.
  • Ahimsa and Sadbhawna Award, 1999.
  • Dewaliben Charitable Trust Award, 1999.
  • International Women’s Association Woman of the Year Award, Chennai, 2001.

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