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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 9 New Delhi February 17, 2018

Tribute to Usha Shrivastava

Saturday 17 February 2018


Dr Usha Shrivastava, a lifelong Marxist and an eminent medical professional, passed away in New Delhi on February 6, 2018 at the age of 62 after a long and brave battle with cancer. She was currently serving as the Vice-President of the National Federation of Indian Women.

Known for her caring and generous nature and sharp intellect, Dr Usha Shrivastava began her innings as a Marxist as a student leader. She served as the President of the Delhi unit of the All India Students Federation (AISF) in the mid-1970s. She was also the Vice-President of the Bihar State Students Federation.

Later, when the All India Medicos Federation was formed, she became its first convenor. She was the founder member of the National Association of Indian Doctors for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which was later renamed as the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD). She was the General Secretary of the IDPD in the 1990s. 

She thereafter joined the women’s movement and held several distinguished positions therein.

Dr Usha Shrivastava was the daughter of the well-known Communist leader, H.K. Vyas, and the wife of the former AISF President, Dr Shambhu Shrivastava.

Apart from her lifelong commitment to the cause of the downtrodden, she made seminal contributions to the medical profession. She had the honour of having done the first doctorate in Community Medicine from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. She was a renowned clinical epidemiologist. Her papers have been published in reputed international journals like Lancet. 

She had a significant role behind the passing of the Pre-Natal Sex Determination Act by deposing as an expert to the Parliamentary Committee and giving persuasive arguments therein.

Dr Usha will be remembered as a shining example of a person who could combine high professional calibre with commitment to higher social objectives. 

While remembering her we are publishing the following tribute to her written by one of her close associates in the sudent movement, Amarjeet Kaur, who has just been elected the General Secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress. 

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