With over 100 novels and over 20 short stories collections, Mahasweta Devi's work primarily focused on social issues and common people. She was born in 1926, in Decca, British India (now Dhaka, Bangladesh) and admitted in Santiniketan from 1936 to 1938.
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Devi was the pioneer in calling for the rights and empowerment of the Lodha and Shabar, the tribal people from West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
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Devi was known not just for her writing but also for dedicating her life for the welfare of tribals across India.
A long time champion for the political, social and economic rights of the tribal communities, Mahasweta Devi has said that the reason why she writes has evolved over the years. She had also raised her voice against forcible land acquisition in Singur and Nandigram. Award-winning movies that were inspired by her books include Govind Nihalani's 1998 movie "Hazar Chaurasi ki Ma" and "Kalpana Lajmi Rudali".
Several of her novels have been turned into films in the recent past.
A writer-activist through and through, Mahasweta Devi had been awarded numerous accolades, including the Padma Vibhushan, the Jnanpith, Magsaysay, Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi, among others. She passed away on July 28, 2016, at the age of 90, in Kolkata, West Bengal.
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