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Committed, courageous, prolific writer who brought to fore Phule-Ambedkar legacy

By Vibhuti Patel* 

We salute Dr Gail Omvedt for her revolutionary spirit.
Dr Gail Omvedt, committed and courageous, prolific writer and powerful social scientists who brought to the fore Phule-Ambedkar legacy in the context of rising social movements in the post emergency period is no more.
Gail's close association with grass-roots movements of rural women, farmers, forest dwellers and women-headed households and her involvement in the newly formed women's rights movement during late 1970s, were captured in her engaging and inspiring first person account in her book, 'We Shall Smash this Prison'.
During 1970s, 1980s and 1990s we worked together in several padyatras, rallies, national conferences, gatherings in rural and tribal areas, travelled together to attend conference in Nandurbar, shared rooms in seminars and conferences which gave us opportunity to engage in lively discussions political economy of caste-class-ethnic issues determining women's predicaments, property rights of tribal and rural women, need for rural-urban solidarity and support.
She attended and spoke in (her own style of) Marathi all meetings of the united front of women's liberation movement in Maharashtra along with her mother-in-law, veteran feminist Comrade Indutai Patankar.
She had a caring mother-in-law, renowned feminist in her own right in Indutai Patankar. Our heartfelt condolences to Gail' loving companion Dr Bharat Patankar and affectionate daughter, Prachi Patankar.
Dear Gail, you are with us through our writings and fond memories. Salute to your revolutionary spirit.
---
*Economist, feminist, formerly at the Tata Institute of Social Science Research (TISS), Mumbai

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