Award Name : Padma Bhushan
Year of Award : 2010
Award for : Arts
Location : Ahmedabad, Gujarāt, India
Mallika Sarabhai is an activist and Indian classical dancer from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Daughter of a classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and renowned space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, Mallika is an accomplished Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer and performer who has specialized in using the arts for social change and transformation. She was born on 9 May 1954 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Mallika is a woman of many dimensions and talents. She is a noted dancer, film maker, TV anchor and social activist. Mallika Sarabhai, an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, was trained by R. Acharyelu in Kuchipudi. As a young dancer, Mallika won many international awards for her classical dance including the "French Palme D'or'', the highest civilian award of France.
She began her career, when she was only fifteen years old. She took up the acting assignment to play the role of Draupadi in Peter Brook's film "The Mahabharata". Apart from being a professional dancer, she is also a social activist. During the 2002 riots of Gujarat, she raised her voice and spoke against the role played by the Narendra Modi government. She is an epitome of boldness and courage. Sarabhai became a performing artist while finishing her education and established a reputation as a film actress. She appeared in many Hindi- and Gujarati-language films, among the most memorable of which were Mutthi Bhar Chawal (1975), Himalay Se Ooncha (1975), Mena Gurjari (1975), Maniyaro (1980), and Katha (1983). She won a number of critics and government acting awards for her film work and also performed frequently on television. From 1984 to 1989 she toured the world with British director Peter Brook's stage adaptation of the Mahabharata, in which she created the female lead role, Draupadi. She reprised the role in Brook's 1989 filmed version of the epic. She was honored by the Government of India with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in India, in 2010 in recognition of her invaluable contribution to the arts.