Daya Bai 'The Amazing Social Activist From Kerala'
Blog By Chithra Prabhakaran | Jul 28 2018

Daya Bai is a renowned social activist from Kerala. She was born to a prosperous Christian family in Pala and her original name was Mercy Mathew. Mercy became a nun at the age of 16 and started working for the upliftment and welfare of the tribal people in Central India. 

Mercy has impacted and improved the life of the tribals of the villages in the interior areas of Madhya Pradesh through her inspiring speeches and she has led several campaigns for their empowerment.She eventually adopted the name 'Daya Bai' which is a translation of her original name 'Mercy'.


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She has played a significant role in the welfare of the forest dwellers and villagers in Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal. Daya Bai visits every such villages and teaches them self sustenance and self-respect. In this efforts to uplift the less privilaged, she fights as an insider. To ensure this, she has adopted even the dressing style of the villagers/ tribal community.   

She is also involved in Narmada Bachao Andolan.

Daya Bai received Kerala's prestegious Vanitha Woman of the Year award in 2007. In January 2012, she was awarded with the Good Samaritan National Award (instituted by the Kottayam Social Service Society and Agape Movement, Chicago).

Her struggles are documented by Shiny Jacob in her documentory 'Ottayal' which translates as 'one woman's struggle'.

She has set up a school in the Barul village in Madhya Pradesh where she is currently settled.


Blog By Chithra Prabhakaran

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