Atishi will be making her Assembly poll debut from Kalkaji in South Delhi. The educationist had previously lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from the East Delhi to BJP’s Gautam Gambhir by a margin of over 4.7 lakh votes.
Born to Delhi University professors Vijay Kumar Singh and Tripta Wahi, Atishi, whose last name is Marlena - a portmanteau of the names Karl Marx and Vladmir Lenin - studied history at St. Stephen’s College and went on to Oxford University to pursue her Master’s on a Chevening scholarship. She also did a second master's degree from Oxford in Educational Research.
Atishi spent some time teaching at Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh before moving to a small village near Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, where she was involved with organic farming and progressive education systems.
A member of the political affairs committee of the Aam Aadmi Party, she has been with the party ever since it was founded in November 2012. Starting out as a media panelist for the young party, Atishi later played a pivotal role in drafting the 2013 Assembly manifesto.
After the 2015 Assembly elections, Atishi was appointed as a special advisor on education to education minister Manish Sisodia. Between 2015 and 2018, Atishi is credited for having helped reform Delhi’s education system, while drawing a salary of Rs 1 per month.
In fact, the revival of the School Management Committees in Delhi, which are parent bodies meant to monitor and supervise the functioning of government schools, is often credited to Atishi. She also launched initiatives called "Chunauti" and Mission Buniyad to tailor classroom teaching practices according to learning levels of children.
However, her political career has also been marred by some controversy. In 2018, she was sacked from her advisory role by the Centre, which alleged that her appointment was illegal. However, her party had termed it “political vendetta”. In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, she dropped her last name Marlena. But the issue came under intense scrutiny as many reports suggested that it was done because the surname sounded Christian.
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Updated Date: Feb 11, 2020 10:51:56 IST