from Free Inquiry October/November 2004 Vol. 24 No. 6.

Dr. Indumati Parikh, medical doctor and the doyenne of India’s Radical Humanist movement, has died in Mumbai, India. She was known as “Indu Tai” to many social workers in India.

Indumati served the poor in Mumbai’s suburbs. Among her chosen causes were population control, personal hygiene, and other social issues. Seeing the devoted treatment that she offered to the downtrodden, visiting humanists often compared her with Mother Teresa. U.S. Humanist leader Edd Doerr described her as a greater personality that Mother Teresa.

As a student, Indumati came into contact with Humanists and gravitated towards Humanist reformer M. N. Roy’s Radical Democratic Party in the early 1940s. She married Dr G. D. Parikh, who served as rector of Bombay University and was also an enthusiastic follower of M. N. Roy During those days, Indumati served Humanist organizations and the party as a silent worker.

After the death of her husband, Indumati plunged into Humanist activism, emerging as a leader whose influence was felt all across India.

She was elected as president of the Indian Radical Humanist Association and served in that capacity for several years. She raised funds toward establishing the M. N. Roy Centre at Mumbai, a rallying point for radical Humanists.

Dr. Parikh attended many Humanist congresses, touring across India and abroad. She was honoured by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), whose co-president, Levi Fragell of Norway called her a Humanist heroine.