Vandana Shiva who was born in Dehradun, India on November 5, 1952, is an environmental activist, a supporter of food sovereignty, and author of changes in globalization. Her father is a forest conservator and her mother is a farmer who loves nature. Shiva was educated at St Mary’s School in Nainital and at the Monastery of Jesus and Mary, Dehradun, India.
Shiva studied physics at Panjab University in Chandigarh, graduated as a science graduate in 1972 and became a science expert in 1974. After that, she worked at the Atomic Research Center Bhabha before she finally decided to move to Canada to pursue an MA in philosophy at the University of Guelph in Ontario in 1977. She completed her study with a thesis entitled “The changes in the concept of the periodicity of light.
In 1978, she completed and received a Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, Canada majoring in philosophy with her dissertation “Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory”.
She then proceeded to interdisciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy at the Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India.
Her work on agriculture began in 1984 after violence in Punjab and gas leaks in Bhopal from the Union Carbide pesticide manufacturing plant. Shiva is a member of the scientific committee of IDEAS Fundacion which is the Spanish Socialist Party think tank. Vandana Shiva is also a member of the International Organization for Participatory Communities. In 1993, she received an award known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”.
In 1998, the organization Shiva Navdanya started a campaign against the biomass of basmati rice by US company RiceTec Inc. In 2001, after an intensive campaign, RiceTec lost most of its claims on patents.
In 2001 she opened Bija Vidyapeeth, a school and an organic farm that offering a one month course about farming near Dehra Dun, India.
Vandana Shiva has spent most of her life in biodiversity advocacy to improve farmer income, nutrition, and productivity. Thanks to her relentless struggle, she was finally recognized as the ‘Hero of the Environment’ by Time magazine in 2003.
Shiva believes that the seed-chemical package promoted by Green Revolution farming has emptied the fertile soil, destroying the ecosystem and adversely affecting human health that he mentioned it in her interview with David Barsamian,
In her work, Shiva quoted data presumably indicating that there are currently more than 1400 pesticides that can enter the food system worldwide because only 1% of sprayed pesticides act against target pests.
The essence of Shiva’s work is the idea of Seed Freedom or the rejection of the company’s patent on the seed. She has campaigned against the implementation of the 1994 WTO Trade Intelligence Agreement (TRIPS), extending the scope of the patent.
In 2005, Shiva was one of three organizations that won a 10-year battle at the European Patent Office against Neem biopiracy by the US Department of Agriculture and WR Grace corporation.
Shiva is currently based in New Delhi and has written more than twenty books. She is also currently one of the leaders and councilors of the International Forum on Globalization along with Ralph Nader, Edward Goldsmith, Jerry Mander, Jeremy Rifkin and known as the alter-globalization movement.
Inspired by quotes from Gandhi, Vandana Shiva said that she wants to make the changes that she wants to see in this world. It is time for all of us also to continue what Gandhi said that we can make changes according to what we inspired to.