Veteran social activist Vidya Bal dead

Mumbai: Noted social activist and feminist writer Vidya Bal died after a brief illness at a hospital

in Pune on Thursday. She was 84. Bal was fighting a legal battle for women's rights to enter various places of worship. She had played a key role in strengthening women's rights movement in the state.

She started her career as an anchor in All India Radio and later, joined 'Stree' magazine in 1964. In her 22-year-long association with Stree, she rose to become assistant editor and worked as an activist-cum-journalist.

Bal then went on to found a Marathi monthly magazine, 'Miloon Saarya Jani', in 1989. This magazine was very popular in the state. Eight years before, she had set up a 'Naari Samata Manch', to solve various women's issues. She travelled across the state, educating women about their rights and how they should fight for these. Her concept of feminism was based on male engagement through dialogue and cooperation and to ensure this, she set up dedicated centres where such dialogue could be conducted.

Her last rites were performed at Vaikunth crematorium, family sources said. "Vidya Bal drew attention to women's problems through her writing. She fought for equality between women and men in society," said Woman and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur said, in her condolence message.

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