Her vision of a more equitable society took shape early. "It was perhaps my parents’ zeal for social work that inspired me. If I had not been doing what I am doing now, I would have become a doctor and practised in the villages," she says. After a stint at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences followed by an unsatisfactory experience with NGOs, she launched her struggle for rehabilitation of Narmada oustees. That set the scene for more battles against anti-people development. A crusade that has earned her the Alternative Nobel Prize in ’92, the Goldman Environment Prize in ’93 and the love of thousands.