Respected Bhanwari Devi Ji

Indian Social Activist - Driving force behind Vishaka Guidelines

Bhanwari Devi is an Indian social activist known for her tireless efforts to combat child marriage and promote gender equality. Born in 1950 in Bhateri village, Rajasthan, Bhanwari Devi hails from a marginalized community and faced numerous challenges in her early life. Despite limited formal education, she became a beacon of change through her determined activism.

Women's activists and lawyers have propagated the view that Bhanwari attracted the ire of her rapists solely on the basis of her work. A number of groups which championed the latter view filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court of India, under the collective platform of Vishakha. The petition, filed by Vishakha and four other women's organizations in Rajasthan against the State of Rajasthan and the Union of India, resulted in what are popularly known as the Vishakha Guidelines. The judgment of August 1997 provided to basic definitions of sexual harassment at the workplace and provided guidelines to deal with it. It is seen as a significant legal victory for women's groups in India.

Bhanwari received honours both nationally and internationally. She was invited to be a part of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. In 1994, she was awarded the Neerja Bhanot Memorial Award carrying ₹1 lakh cash prize, for her "extraordinary courage, conviction and commitment".

9.30 AM - 11.00 AM

Friday 8th Dec 2023

Keynote Address by Chief Guest

Indian Social Activist - Driving force behind Vishaka Guidelines