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Prabhudas Patwari (1909–85) was an Indian lawyer, community activist, freedom fighter and a Gandhian follower. He was a very popular governor of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu between 1977 and 1980. He championed and brought about several policy level changes to help the poor and helped start institutions to help marginalized and abused women and prevent child marriage both in his home state of Gujarat and as Governor of the state of Tamil Nadu. He was a staunch Gandhian who joined the Quit India movement in response to Mahatma Gandhi's call to action to the youth of India and a champion of animals, a staunch vegetarian who refused to serve meat in the Tamil Nadu Raj Bhavan on the Gandhian principle of non violence. He often fought pro-bono cases for the vulnerable in society including laborers and abused women and was deeply involved in community service and deeply engaged with the Ahmedabad Gandhi Ashram community. He was a huge believer in Hindu-Muslim unity and often trying to help both sides and united them during religious riots and was much loved and respected by both communities.
An advocate of abstinence and moral virtue, he was a teetotaler. He stayed active as an anti-alcohol campaigner in his home state of Gujarat until his death. During the emergency he was put in jail by Indira Gandhi administration for his vocal protest of same.
Prabhudas Patwari's wife, Savita Patwari (b. 1915) died in December 2005, at the age of 90, in Ahmedabad.
He is survived by his daughter Ranna Shah Patwari a lawyer and writer and two grand daughters based in California, Radhika Shah CoPresident of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs and an Advisor to the Sustainable Development Goals Philanthropy Platform and a champion of girls and women's empowerment and Gopika Shah a social worker and a staunch champion of animal rights. They attempt to continue his spirit of community service and positive social change by leveraging the power of technology innovation and social networks.
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