Your Martha Story

Martha was many things to many people. Known for her friendships, her leadership, her generosity and her devotion to feminism in everyday life, she has a special place in the hearts of all those who knew her. Here are some of the stories shared by Martha’s family members, friends and colleagues, who remember her courage, warmth and compassion and how she continues to inspire them in different ways.

A letter to Martha, by Ravi Seth, her brother-in-law

Dear Martha This is a letter of my appreciation for all your qualities that I should have written long back but never did because our relationship was always about banter and gentle ribbing of each other. You, about anything to do with male chauvinism and me about your obsession ...

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A Requiem for Martha by Rajesh Tandon

While conducting the first ever participatory evaluation of an educational project in 1981, I met Martha at Abner Memorial School in Delhi. By asking simple questions about the methodology, she helped me elaborate, in practice, the participatory processes of data-collection and a ...

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Colleen Bratko's interaction with Martha

I had the good fortune to spend some time with Martha when I studied at PRIA with the Calgary Board of Education a few years ago.  She talked to us about gender, and she spoke specifically about Canada, our politics, and questioned us about our beliefs.  It was at that moment I ...

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Cristien Temmink on Martha the quintessential hostess

I recall the dinner at Rajesh and Martha’s house with the Crossroads team. I was so touched by her hospitality and taking me around Delhi to buy shawls and sweets. And when she noticed how I liked Indian food, she made sure I had a dish from a different region each day. ...

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Deepti Mehrotra met Martha in 1983...

I met Martha at Ankur in 1983 when we were doing all those plays at Victoria, and Abner. Martha, always warm, confident, active, going places. I admired her. Martha kept in touch over the years, calling or writing in every now and again, to discuss some specific idea or the other ...

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Eulogy given by Maria Sharma, Martha's sister

This morning the one question on everyone’s mind was Why? Why did something like this happen to Martha. She was a good person – a good wife, a good daughter, a good mother, a good worker and a good employer..so Why? Everyone is struggling to find their own answer to that “W ...

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For a Time of Sorrow

For a Time of Sorrow I share with you the agony of your grief, The anguish of your heart finds echo in my own. I know I cannot enter all you feel Nor bear with you the burden of your pain. I can but offer what my love does give: The strength of caring, The warmth of one who seeks ...

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I Knew Martha from the 1970s--Lalita Ramdas

Oh Martha! We had plans that you would finally come to Ramu Farm and pick mangoes from the trees this summer…I feel I have lost a friend, a sister, a comrade, a colleague…someone special in every possible way. Martha and I have been friends ever since she came to me as an in ...

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Idaci Ferreira and Martha discussed weddings

What can I tell you? I remember Martha with her large smile, her gentleness, her gentle way of speaking, her strong and contextualised position about the role of women in society.... her words of advice before my wedding .... an interesting interaction between cultures about wedd ...

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John Gaventa remembers Martha the friend

For those of us who knew Martha, our memories will not only be of her important accomplishments on behalf of global citizens – we will also remember her warmth, her wonderful Indian cooking which she tried several times to teach me (without much success, though that was no faul ...

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Margaret Bell on house-proud Martha

I will always think of Martha as so strong, so wise, so compassionate, and with so much to share. In what other way would one want to be remembered? You will be surprised to know I was thinking of her just on the weekend last, not having any idea that she was being laid to rest ...

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Marion Quinn remembers Martha as mother

I have a different (sort of funny!) story about my own "connection" with Martha which I want to share with you.  As I only met her briefly, twice, it is different from the many memories I"m sure others who knew her well have shared.  Nonetheless I thought I"d share it.  Martha ...

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Martha always stood up for women--Nandita Bhatt

More than half my adult life, Martha has been my mentor, my guide, my counsellor, confidante, parent and the best friend I have ever had. I miss her so much. When I heard everyone talking about Martha being a perfect mother, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, wife and a perfect ...

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Martha my Sister

Martha was a great friend, sister, chosen family, mentor, confidante and someone who would have solutions to those problems that I dared attend to, her words echo in my ears till today, asking "What is the problem, mushkil kya hai hamien batao".  It is difficult to de ...

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Martha was spiritual too--Sumona Dasgupta

We [Martha and Sumona] met "by chance" while we were stuck at Kathmandu airport a few years ago. On our way to Sonipat in March this year when we travelled together she said to me that we were destined to meet and it was not by chance. There are times when I feel that there is s ...

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Remembering Martha

Dear Family Friends It was on the morning of May 14 last year that we learnt about Martha’s death the night before in a terrorist attack in Kabul.Though a year has passed, and we are taking our lives ahead, it does, at times, seem as if it was only yesterday. During this long ...

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Shivani Singh remembers her first day at PRIA

My first day in PRIA started with two days’ gender training in which Martha ma’am (as I used to address her) and Nandita were trainers. Though I was recruited as a documentation and systematization officer to work under the PIP portal, I realized that I had made a mistake. I ...

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The Dasra Team remembers Martha

We have had the pleasure of interacting with Martha at the Dasra - Vodafone program early this year [2015] and we instantly took to her warm and caring nature. With her memorable words at the graduation, she endearingly referred to herself and other members of the class as “stu ...

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Uncompromising Courage

From early morning today I have been remembering Martha - in so many ways - in the good times and difficult ones - the happy time and the sad ones... And I have no doubt that she is with us in spirit - and just a smile, a call, a glance away.To add to all that you have recalled ...

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Sari for Martha

In the closet in my parent’s bedroom, there sit two metal trunks, medium sized, one older than the other, where my mother’s sarees await their fate. After my mother died, my friend Martha counselled me to not rush in dealing with her things. She had assured me that she would ...

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