Dedicated to animal rights
Maneka Gandhi is a Member of Parliament (MP) from the Lok Sabha constituency of Pilibhit in the State of Uttar Pradesh. She is a senior leader in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She belongs to the Nehru-Gandhi family; the widow of Indian politician Sanjay Gandhi. Throughout her political career, Maneka has shown a keen interest in animal rights, environmental protection and people’s welfare. She has done phenomenal work as an environmentalist and animal rights activist, for which, she has been conferred with various International awards and recognition. In 1992, Maneka launched the People for Animals organization, which is currently the largest organization for animal rights/welfare in India. She is also a member of various international organizations that champion the cause of animal rights and environmental protection.
Early Life and Education
Maneka Gandhi was born in Delhi on August 26, 1956 to Late Lt. Col. T.S. Anand and Late Smt. Amteshwar Anand. She completed her graduation from Lady Shri Ram College for Women in Delhi. She has also studied German at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her marriage to Late Shri Sanjay Gandhi was held on September 29, 1974.
Maneka Gandhi was always there with her husband Sanjay Gandhi during party meetings, election campaigns and other events. However, after the death of her husband, her relationship with Sanjay’s mother Indira Gandhi soured beyond repair. She decided to move out and make her own identity, for which she launched the Rashtriya Sanjay Manch. Later, in 1988, she joined V.P. Singh’s Janata Dal and became the General Secretary.
- 1988-89: General-Secretary, Janata Dal (J.D.)
- 1989: Elected to 9th Lok Sabha
- 1989-91: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Environment and Forests
- Jan-April 1990: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Programme Implementation
- 1996: Re-elected to 11th Lok Sabha (2nd term)
- 1996-97: Member, Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests
- 1998-99: Re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha (3rd term)
- 1998-99: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Social Justice and Empowerment
- 1999: Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (4th term)
- 13 Oct. 1999- 1 Sept. 2001: Union Minister of State,(Independent Charge) Social Justice and Empowerment
- 1 Sept. 2001- 18 Nov. 2001: Union Minister of State, Culture with additional charge of Animal Care (Independent Charge)
- 18 Nov.2001- 30 June 2002: Union Minister of State, (Independent Charge) Programme Implementation and Statistics with additional charge of Animal Care
- 2002-2004: Member, Standing Committee on External Affairs
- 2004: Re-elected to 14th Lok Sabha ( 5th term) (Member, Standing Committee on Health & Family Welfare; Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Environment and Forests)
- 5 Aug. 2007: Member, Standing Committee on Health & Family Welfare
- 2009: Re-elected to 15th Lok Sabha (6th term)
- 31 Aug. 2009: Member, Standing Committee on Railways
- 23 Sep. 2009: Chairperson, Committee on Government Assurances
- 19 Oct. 2009: Member, General Purposes Committee
- May, 2014: Re-elected to 16th Lok Sabha (7th term)
- 27 May 2014 onwards: Union Cabinet Minister, Women and Child Development
Maneka Gandhi likes to read and write. Several of her works have been published including (1) Sanjay Gandhi, (2) The Rainbow and Other Stories; (3) 1001 Animal Quiz, (4) Penguin Book of Hindu Names; (5) Complete Book of Parsi and Muslim Names; (6) Brahma`s Hair, (7) Heads and Tails; (8) Animal Laws of India; (9) First Aid for Animals; (10) Natural Health for Your Dog; (11) Wise and Wonderful Animal Alphabet Quiz (12) Fish Quiz (13) Bird Quiz and (14) Insect Quiz. Maneka also likes to spend some of her time doing gardening.