Shanta Kalidas Gandhi

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Shanta Kalidas Gandhi

Born: 20 December 1917

Died: 6 May 2002

  • She was an Indian theatre director, dancer, and playwright who was closely associated with IPTA, the cultural wing of the Communist Party of India.
  • She studied with Indira Gandhi at a residential school in the early 1930s and remained close to the prime minister in later life.
  • She received many government awards and sinecures under the Indira Gandhi administration, including the Padma Shri (1984) and being made chairperson of the National School of Drama (1982–84).
  • She was the sister of actress Dina Pathak (née Gandhi) and Tarla Gandhi, also a stage performer.
  • In 1952, she started working with a group of children in the village Nikora, on the banks of the Narmada River, in South Gujarat with an informal curriculum.
  • Later, an experimental school attached to the B.M. Institute of Child Psychology and Development, Ahmedabad, adopted this format and in the 1970s at the Bal Bhavan, Delhi took it as well, eventual Avehi was formed in 1981 and in 1990 in 1990 when AVEHI took up the program and named it ABACUS with Shanta Gandhi as Director.
  • Apart from plays, she wrote a short story collection Ugata Chhod (1951) and a novel Avinash (1952) in Gujarati.
  • Her Gujaratan ne Pagale Pagale (1948) includes sketches of ancient and modern women.

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