Savita Behen
Born23 January 1919
Died10 March 2009
Occupation(s)Social worker, politician, educationist
Known forWomen empowerment
AwardsPadma Shri

Savita Behen (1919-2009) was an Indian politician, social worker, educationist and a former member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the bicameral Indian Parliament.[1][2] She was known to be an advocate of women empowerment and gender equality[3] and was listed among the 3300 distinguished living women of the world by the Council for Parity Democracy in 1990.[4] She was honoured by the Government of India in 1971 with Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award.[5]


Savita Behen was born on 23 January 1919[4] at Rohtas in Jhelum district in the erstwhile British India, presently in Pakistan.[6] She did her college studies at the Government College, Lahore and P. L. College, Shimla.[1] Joining the Indian freedom struggle at a young age, she became active in social work. She founded Women Sevika Dal in 1944 and later, established Harijan Adult Education Centre and Tailoring and Industrial Centres for women in Delhi.[1] She also founded three schools for harijan and dalit children.[1][6]

Savita Behen was the chairman of the Refugee Widow Protection Committee and was instrumental in the establishment of two industrial and education centres for the refugee women.[1][6] She held the presidency of the All India Women's Council, the Women's Welfare Association of Delhi and the Super Bazar Cooperative Stores Limited, New Delhi and was the first woman vice president of the Delhi Municipal Committee, a post she held from 1956 to 1957.[1][6] She served the Punjab Legislative Council, the predecessor of the Punjab Legislative Assembly from 1962 to 1966.[1][6] She was elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament in 1972, representing Delhi and served the house till 1978.[1][6] She was one of the 15 nominated members of the Joint Committee of Indian Parliament set up by Indian parliament for the establishment of the Central Council of Homoeopathy.[7]

Savita Behen was the zonal coordinator for Business and Industry Wing of the Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University for the region of Warangal in Andhra Pradesh.[8][9] She was awarded the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 1971 by the Government of India. The Council for Parity Democracy listed her among 3300 distinguished living women in 1990.[4] She died on 10 March 2009 at the age of 90.[1][6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Synopsis of Debate" (PDF). Rajya Sabha - Government of India. 4 June 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Gujarat Elections: Tired of Congress and BJP, Dalits seek to shift narrative to development, rise above caste politics - Firstpost". 8 December 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Rajya Sabha (Council of States of Indian Parliament) and Women's Empowerment". Commonwealth Parliament Association. 2015. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Council for Parity Democracy". Council for Parity Democracy. 26 July 1990. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Padma Shri" (PDF). Padma Shri. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Minutes of the meeting" (PDF). Rajya Sabha. 4 April 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Central Council of Homoeopathy". Joint Committee of Indian Parliament. 3 April 1972. Archived from the original on 14 August 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Business & Industry wing". Business & Industry wing. 2015. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation of the Brahma Kumaris". Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation. 2015. Archived from the original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.