Avabai Bomanji Wadia

Avabai Bomanji Wadia

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Category: Social Work

Avabai Bomanji Wadia Profile

  • Name:
  • Avabai Bomanji Wadia
  • Born:
  • September 18, 1913
  • Died:
  • July 11, 2005

Avabai Bomanji Wadia Biography

Avabai Bomanji Wadia was a Sri Lankan born naturalised Indian social worker, who lived during the period, 18 September 1913 – 11 July 2005. She was also a writer who extensively published books on sexual health and family planning. She also started two organizations, International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Family Planning Association of India, promoting these two social causes in families. She was honoured by the Government of India in 1971 with Padma Shri. She was also a lawyer by profession, and the first Sri Lankan woman to succeed in the bar examinations.

 

Avabai Bomanji Wadia was born on 18 September 1913 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She was born into an affluent and highly westernized Parsi family with roots in Gujarat. Her father was a shipping officer. At the age of 15 she moved to England for higher studies. She joined the Inns of Court in 1932 and enrolled as a lawyer in 1934. She practised for two years as a lawyer in England and returned to Colombo in 1939. She practised law here for two more years. While at England she was involved with social activities and has also interacted with Indian freedom fighters including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

 

When Avabai Bomanji Wadia’s father retired from government service in Sri Lanka, the family moved back to their homeland, Gujarat. She married Bomanji Khurshedji Wadia in 1946, and got separated in 1952. But they never legally divorced. She joined the All India Women's Conference in Mumbai, and focused on social activities related to contraception and family planning. She founded the Family Planning Association of India in 1949, and served as its president for 34 years.

 

Published: January 05, 2020

Updated: January 05, 2020

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