In 2007, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan for her contributions.
Dr. V Mohini Giri, a well-known women’s rights activist, died on Tuesday after a brief illness. She was 86 years old.
Dr Giri served as Chair of the National Commission for Women (NCW) and the Central Social Welfare Board from 1995 to 1998. She was also the Chairperson of the Guild of Service, a social service organisation located in New Delhi that advocates for women’s and children’s rights to education, work, and financial stability.
In 1972, she established the War Widows Association. In 2007, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan for her contributions to women’s rights.
The Guild of Service said in a statement, “Dr Giri has been an icon of the women’s movement with her bold advocacy for a gender-just world… The Guild, guided by her mission, operates shelter houses, family counselling facilities, capacity-building centres, and schools for poor children in Delhi, Rajasthan, Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh. Her pioneering initiatives have brought national and international attention to the special risks that widows suffer… She worked willingly, travelling many extra kilometres and personally and indirectly influencing the lives of thousands of women.”
“The women’s movement lost a great pillar,” said Meera Khanna, President and Trustee of the Guild of Service, who had known Dr Giri for 23 years. Dr Giri was like a mother to me, as well as a mentor and advisor. She motivated me to become involved in gender rights action. Dr. Giri led everyone on a journey of gender rights action. “She was courageous and walked the walk,” Khanna remarked.
Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, a women’s rights activist, writer, and former Planning Commission member who had known Dr Giri since they worked together at the National Commission for Women in 1997, said, “…I am Dr Giri’s disciple because she loved humanity regardless of class, caste, gender, or religion.”
Dr Mohini Giri, the daughter-in-law of former President Dr V V Giri, is survived by a son and a daughter. Dr Giri was the founder and trustee of Women’s Initiative for Peace in South Asia, a trustee of Navdanya, a trustee of the Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation, and a trustee of the Foundation for Academic Excellence and Access (FAEA).