A.B. Shah

  S. Ramanathan

  Basava Premanand

  G.D. Parekh

  J.B.H. Wadia

  Samaren Roy

  Mani Ben Kara

  Sib Narayan Ray

  V.B. Karnik

  Susheel Mukherjee

  Malladi Ramamurthy






Humanists I Met

Mani Ben Kara

Humanist Heroin


Delegate - Free World Labour conference, UK in 1949.

In 1974 by the time Mani Ben came to Hyderabad old age appeared.  Already she was an expert manager and a leader in the fields of humanitarian and labor. Having traveled within the country and worldwide, Maniben, who continuously worked for women’s rights, was born in Mumbai. As she belongs to a middle class family she studied in St.Colambia High School in Gamdevi. After that she went to Birmingham in London to study Social Science straining. On returning she involved in labor affairs, put continuous effort and started taking interest in Port workers, poor people suffering in huts, oppressed women living without rights. As part of that effort, she accepted responsibility in various labor associations and took form as an All India Trade Union leader.  In the process she came across people like V.B.Karnik,N.M.Joshi. With their cooperation she extended matchless services in the field of labor.

She established and ran a printing press in Mumbai. In 1930 she got acquainted with newly foreign returned M.N.Roy. That became close friendship and led to assume an important role in Radical Democratic Party established by Roy. Later she immersed in Humanist Movement.  In 1931 she met Lucy Gesler who landed in Mumbai on a ship from Switzerland. Maniben rescued her from British spies and took her to M.N.Roy in secret. But soon British government smelt the secret and sent her back.

Maniben was arrested during combats in 1932. She stood by M.N.Roy. She was elected Member of Parliament in the centre. Maniben conducted social programs in many slums with great courage .Indumathi Parekh supported her work. Maniben endeavored in various government appointed women welfare organizations.

She toured Hyderabad on our invitation. During such visits other than city site seeing, Komala and I went along to renowned Humanist of those times, Lawyer Avula Samba Siva Rao’s residence. Those days SambaSivaRao was living in Malakpet in Hyderabad. His daughter Manjulatha had delivered a son just then. Mani Ben presented a souvenir to that baby boy. She told us to gift like that is a good tradition. She showed interest in  many things in Hyderabad old city.  She described her work and experiences in women’s organizations to us. Spoke about her long acquaintance and experiences with M.N.Roy 

She died in 1979. Her work as leader of humanitarian movement is to be reckoned. V.B Karnik briefly published her biography. Mani Ben displayed her persona by representing in national and international conferences.

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