Maneka Gandhi was born on August 26, 1956 in Delhi to Indian Army officer Lt. Col. Tarlochan Singh Anand and Amteshwar Anand. Maneka Gandhi studied at Lawrence School and later Lady Shri Ram College for Women. She also studied German at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Pic/mid-day archives, AFP and Maneka Gandhi Instagram
Maneka Gandhi won several beauty pageants during her college days in Lady Shri Ram College. Maneka Gandhi also went to model for Bombay Dyeing - a towel company at that time
Maneka Gandhi first met Sanjay Gandhi, the son of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, at a cocktail party thrown by her uncle to celebrate the forthcoming marriage of his son in 1973.
Maneka Gandhi's family had apprehensions about the wedding but the couple overcame it all. On September 23, 1974, Maneka Gandhi married Sanjay Gandhi
In 1980, after six years of marriage, Maneka Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi became proud parents to a baby boy on March 13, 1980. Initially, the boy was named Feroze after his paternal grandfather but his grandmother Indira Gandhi changed it to Varun
Maneka Gandhi lost her husband Sanjay Gandhi, a trained pilot, in a plane crash. The plane apparently crashed 100 meters away from his house. Maneka Gandhi was only 23-years-old and Varun was just 100 days old
Post Sanjay Gandhi's death, Maneka Gandhi faced quite a few struggles in her personal life.
In picture: Maneka Gandhi with her son
Maneka Gandhi founded the Rashtriya Sanjay Manch. The party primarily focused on youth empowerment and employment. It won four out of five seats in the Elections in Andhra Pradesh.
Maneka Gandhi merged the party with Janata Dal which won the elections and she went on to become the youngest Minister in India at the age of 33
Maneka Gandhi is an animal rights activist, environmentalist. She has authored a number of books in the areas of etymology, law and animal welfare. In 1992, Maneka Gandhi founded People for Animals (PFA) which is one of the largest welfare organisation in India
Maneka Gandhi created India's Animal Welfare Ministry dedicated to animals and became its minister. Maneka Gandhi took measures like banning the use of animals for public performances. She made compulsory for all cosmetic and edible products to be labelled as green (for vegetarian) and red (for non-vegetarian) depending on the ingredients
Maneka Gandhi was awarded international recognition because of her commitment to animals and the environment. She won awards like Lord Erskine Award from the RSPCA, 1992, Environmentalist and Vegetarian of the year 1994, Prani Mitra Award, 1996, Venu Menon Animal Allies Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999, International Women's Association Woman of the Year Award, Chennai, 2001
Maneka Gandhi first contested the Amethi constituency from Uttar Pradesh for the 1984 general election for the Lok Sabha but lost to brother-in-law Rajiv Gandhi. In 1996, Maneka Gandhi contested as an Independent candidate from Pilibhit. She was re-elected in 1996 and again in 1998
In 1999, Maneka Gandhi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after it was elected to power. Maneka Gandhi was appointed as the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment.
Maneka Gandhi published 'The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names' and 'The Book of Hindu Names'
Manek Gandhi strongly advocates issues like animal rights, women and child welfare, veganism and yoga. She lauded tennis star Sania Mirza for practising pre-natal yoga
Currently, Maneka Gandhi is Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development in the Government of PM Narendra Modi
Maneka Gandhi does everything in her power for all the causes she supports.
Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi is the wife of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and wife of Congress leader Sanjay Gandhi. Apart from looking after women and child issues, Maneka Gandhi is an environmentalist, animal rights and nature protection activist. Here we trace her journey. All pictures/mid-day archives and Maneka Gandhi Instagram