Trupti Desai is an Indian social activist who is working in the field of bringing equality among men and women. She has also started her own organizations- Bhumata Brigade and Bhumata Foundation. Based in Pune, the organization is fighting against injustice to women and against corruption.
Trupti Desai was born on Thursday, 12 December 1985 (age 35 years; as of 2021) in Nipani, Belgaum, Karnataka. Her zodiac sign is Sagittarius. Nipani was situated on the borders of Karnataka and Maharashtra, and her family had their roots in Kolhapur. At the age of eight, the whole family left Kolhapur and moved to Pune. After completing her schooling, she went to Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University, Mumbai, but she dropped out of the bachelor’s degree in the first year because of some personal reasons.
Height (approx.): 5′ 3″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Trupti’s father’s name is Dattatraya Narasimha Shinde, and her mother’s name is Sanjeevani Shinde. She has a younger sister, Tejashree Shinde.
Husband & Children
She got married to Prashant Desai in 2006, and they have a son, Yogiraj Desai.
Trupti Desai belongs to a Hindu family. Her family is very religious and they are an avid follower of the spiritual guru Gangagiri Maharaj of Kolhapur.
After dropping out of college, Trupti was appointed as the president of the organization Krantiveer Jhopdi Vikas Sangh. The goal of the organization was to work for the welfare of the people who are living in slum areas. They would usually help them overcome their daily problems like providing ration cards, dealing with unemployment, legal problems, and so on. In 2007, Trupti Desai protested against the NCP’s chairman Ajit Pawar, and the Ajit Cooperative Bank for an alleged fraud of Rs. 50 crore. The bank took money from over 35,000 people and didn’t pay them back. Trupti formed an Ajit Bank Sangharsh Samiti to help people in recovering their money and she managed to recover the money of 29,000 people after a four-year-long lawsuit in court. After the success of this protest, people suggested Trupti should start an organization to help out people, and help them fight for their rights. This led to the formation of the Bhumata Brigade in 2010. After the Ajit Cooperative Bank protest and the formation of the organization, Trupti came into the limelight and she was noticed by some senior officials of the Indian National Congress (INC). The party offered her a ticket to contest elections from the Balaji Nagar ward in the next civic elections. Despite the campaigning and her popularity, she lost the elections. The organization was working for the benefit of both men and women, however, Trupti formed a separate wing specifically to help women, named Bhumata Ranragini Brigade. This wing played an important role in the protest that was done against the old tradition of not allowing women to enter the Shani Shingnapur Temple in Maharashtra.
- In November 2015, Trupti saw the news of priests carrying out the cleansing of the idol at the Shani Shingnapur Temple after a woman entered the premises of the worship place. Trupti was triggered to see this news and decided to hold a protest against the years of practice and the temple board. She demanded equal rights for women and giving them permission to worship in the temple, just like men. The protest kept getting stronger and the state government asked the board to allow the entry of women into the temple. On 8 April 2016, Trupti marched towards the temple with several other women and entered the Shani Shingnapur Temple. With the attention of media sources and the whole nation, several questions regarding the funding of the protest were raised. In response to this Trupti said-
There are social organisations such as the Chhatrapati group in Kolhapur which helped us organise buses to take women from Kolhapur and Pune to Shani Shingnapur.”
- After this movement’s success, Trupti decided to start a movement to get women their right-to-pray in all the temples. She then took this movement to the Mahalakshmi Temple in Kolhapur. The temple management allowed her to enter the temple but the priests and people from the city were ready to stop them from entering the temple. After the attack, a case was filed against five priests and two other people who were later arrested for assaulting Trupti Desai and her supporters. Trupti on the other hand warned the authorities that if no action is taken against the accused then she’ll return to Kolhapur to file a formal complaint against the priests. She also alleged that the priests had planned to murder her inside the temple premises.
- Trupti Desai further expanded her movement and aimed to enter the Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai. When she reached there, she came across an angry mob and they started banging her car’s window, asking her to go back and leave the place. She also received a call with an anonymous tip that there was a bounty of Rs. 1 lakh on her. After this incident, she decided to march towards the residence of the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis. However, the residence security and police officials stopped her saying that she would need an appointment before meeting the CM.
- In November 2018, Trupti Desai aimed to visit Sabarimala Temple in Kerala to ask the temple board to revoke the old rule of not allowing women of menstruating age to enter the temple. This rule was imposed in 1991 due to the religious sentiments of people. However, the rule was removed in October 2018 by the Supreme Court of India, but the temple authorities still didn’t allow women to enter the temple. Trupti Desai decided to take visit the temple and when she landed at the Cochin International Airport, she was stopped from stepping out of the airport as a large number of protestors were waiting outside for her. After being stranded at the airport for fourteen hours, she was sent back to Pune.
- In 2017, Trupti Desai faced charges under the Anti-Dalit Atrocities Act for misbehaving with a Dalit doctor, Vijay Makasare. In the official statement, Vijay said that he was on his way to someplace when Trupti Desai along with her husband and some goons stopped him in the middle of the road and started beating him and abusing him.
- After her first failed attempt, Trupti Desai went back to Haji Ali Dargah in May 2016 with police protection and managed to enter the mosque, but she couldn’t enter the inner sanctum where only men were allowed to enter.
At Haji Ali Dargah I prayed that women must be allowed to enter inner sanctum like they did before '11: Trupti Desai pic.twitter.com/DtYASmBtDu
— ANI (@ANI) May 12, 2016
- Trupti Desai featured in Blush’s original series called The Angry Goddesses. In the episode featuring her and her team, Trupti was seen leaving her house with a lathi (stick) in her hand during the introduction.
- Trupti’s father, Dattatraya Narasimha Shinde was sentenced to prison for six months and a fine of Rs. 60 lakh was imposed on him in 2019. Shinde was a follower of Gagangiri Maharaj of Kolhapur, and businessman Maheshkumar J. Attal was also a believer of the spiritual guru. He started visiting Shinde’s house thinking it was the temple for the guru, and he started donating money. After some time, when Attal asked for his money, Trupti’s father decided not to give it back, and later a lawsuit was filed against him which went on for fifteen years after which, the matter was settled outside the court.
- In November 2019, Trupti Desai decided to march towards Sabarimala Temple in Kerala with another social activist Bindu Ammini and a few of her supporters, but she was stopped at the airport by the protestors. In July 2020, Bindu Ammini was attacked with chili powder by protestors as she visited the police commissioner’s office in Kochi. She was at the office to talk about safety arrangements for their visit to the Sabarimala Temple.