Inspirational Women: Arundhati Roy

“Another world is not only possible, she’s on the way and, on a quiet day, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathe”

Who is Arundhati Roy? 

Arundhati Roy is an Indian novelist and activist. She won the 1997 Booker Prize for her first novel The God of Small Things and has sold over six million copies worldwide.

Since then, she has worked on publishing collections of political essays and social and environmental campaigning. She is especially renowned for campaigning against the construction of large dams on the Narmada River – one of the largest and most relied on rivers in India.

Arundhati was awarded the Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom in 2003 and the Sydney Peace Prize in 2004 for her non-violent campaigns.

How has she made a difference?

Arundati argued that the dams would unjustly displace half a million people without compensation, and cause communities to lose the river as a source of sustainability. The dams would disrupt irrigation and access to drinking water. She donated her 1997 Booker Prize money to the campaign and was jailed for a day and fined for speaking out against the Indian government’s decisions support for the dams’ construction.

The campaigning caused institutions such as the World Bank to reassess their funding because of the human and environmental concerns.  The campaigners also achieved in lowering the height of the dams.

Why does she inspire team LITTLE BUD? 

We think Arundhati’s fearlessness is amazing. She speaks up against powerful opposition and uses her position to expose injustices and promote change.

Her second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, has been shortlisted for this year’s Booker prize – it’s top of our summer reading list!