Sophia Wadia
Died27 April 1986
Other namesSophia Camacho
Occupation(s)Theosophist, literateur
SpouseB. P. Wadia
AwardsPadma Shri

Sophia Wadia, née Sophia Camacho, was a Colombian-born naturalized Indian theosophist, littérateur, the founder of PEN All India Centre and the founder editor of its journal, The Indian PEN.[1][2] She also cofounded The Indian Institute of World Culture, Bengaluru[3] and the Asian Book Trust, Mumbai.[2] The Government of India honoured Wadia in 1960, with the award of Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award for her services to the nation.[4]


Sophia Camacho was born in 1901 in Colombia and did her education in her motherland, Paris, London and New York.[5] In 1927, she met B. P. Wadia, an Indian theosophist on tour to European countries,[6] was influenced by his philosophy and married him in 1928. The next year, she went to India with her spouse and got involved in his activities.[1] The Wadias founded several branches of the United Lodge of Theosophists in various places in Europe[1] and founded the first Indian branch in Mumbai in 1929.[6]

The couple founded the All India Centre of the International P.E.N. in Mumbai in 1930[7] and launched two journals, The India PEN and The Aryan Path.[5] Sophia was the editor of The India Pen and remained in that position till her death.[5] In 1945, she established The Indian Institute of World Culture in 1945 at Basavanagudi, near Bengaluru in the South Indian state of Karnataka.[3] During this period, she published two books, The Brotherhood of Religions[8] in 1936 and Preparation for Citizenship[9] in 1941, the latter with foreword by Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore.[2] The second edition of The Brotherhood of Religions came out in 1944 with foreword written by Mahatma Gandhi.[2] She was also instrumental in the establishment of Asian Book Trust in Mumbai[2] which later published her husband's renowned work, The Gandhian Way.[10]

Sophia Wadia continued her social life after her husband's death in 1958[6] and organized eleven All India Writers' Conferences.[2] The Government of India awarded her the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 1960.[4]

Global policy

She was one of the signatories of the agreement to convene a convention for drafting a world constitution.[11][12] As a result, for the first time in human history, a World Constituent Assembly convened to draft and adopt the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.[13]


She died on 27 April 1986, at the age of 85.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Rosemary Marangoly George (2013). Indian English and the Fiction of National Literature. Cambridge University Press. p. 294. ISBN 9781107729551.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Nissim Ezekiel (July 1986). "Madame Sophia Wadia: 'Friend, Philosopher and Guide'". Indian Literature. 29 (4(114)): 146–148. JSTOR 23335225.
  3. ^ a b "IIWC". IIWC. 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Padma Shri" (PDF). Padma Shri. 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Blavatsky Theosophy Group". Blavatsky Theosophy Group. 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "Teosofiskakompaniet". Teosofiskakompaniet. 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Pen International". Pen International. 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  8. ^ Sophia Wadia (1936). The Brotherhood of Religions. International Book House. p. 288. ASIN B0007JF0TK.
  9. ^ Sophia Wadia (1941). Preparation for Citizenship. International Book House. p. 79. ASIN B0007J5QOE.
  10. ^ "Raja Yoga Books". Raja Yoga Books. 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Letters from Thane Read asking Helen Keller to sign the World Constitution for world peace. 1961". Helen Keller Archive. American Foundation for the Blind. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  12. ^ "Letter from World Constitution Coordinating Committee to Helen, enclosing current materials". Helen Keller Archive. American Foundation for the Blind. Retrieved 3 July 2023.
  13. ^ "Preparing earth constitution | Global Strategies & Solutions | The Encyclopedia of World Problems". The Encyclopedia of World Problems | Union of International Associations (UIA). Retrieved 15 July 2023.

Further reading