Vimla Patil

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Vimla Patil
Nationality Indian
Occupation Journalist, columnist, author, writer, activist, event designer

Vimla Patil (Marathi: विमला पाटील) is an Indian journalist, author, activist, columnist, writer (books and features, speeches and research), event designer.

Early life and alma mater[edit]

Vimla Patil was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She completed her schooling from St. Columba School, Gamdevi, Mumbai. Thereafter she entered Siddhartha College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Mumbai and graduated with a bachelor's degree (B.A.) of Mumbai University in English Literature, Ancient Indian History and Culture. Then she studied at the Government Law College, Mumbai and obtained a bachelor's degree in law (LL B) of Mumbai University. Finally, she studied journalism at the Regent Street Polytechnic, London and obtained a degree in this subject.


While studying Journalism in London, Vimla Patil was a part-time trainee for The Telegraph[1] and then worked for a business journal called The Office Magazine. Upon returning to India, she joined Femina, a Times of India publication, from its inaugural issue in 1959.[2]

Vimla Patil joined the United States Information Service (USIS) in 1961. Ms. Patil was fortunate to meet a number of US celebrities, artists, writers and politicians and to write about them. She wrote for SPAN as well as many Indian journals and conducted programmes at Indian universities. An example is her publicity campaign for Pandit Ravi Shankar and his US students, prominently Penny Estabrook. She returned to her first love, Femina, in 1966 as the journal's assistant editor, helping to plan its content and marketing strategies.

Vimla Patil became the editor in 1973 and continued in that position till 1993. She built the journal into a world-famous brand. Under her editorship, Femina became the flagship venture for the empowerment of Indian women and was successful in pitching for changes in laws that gave Indian women rights to property, fair laws governing marriage, child rights and the right to equality in all walks of life. Femina also set trends in fashion, food and films (entertainment industry) by unifying the whole country under one umbrella of being 'Indian'. Under Vimla Patil's editorship, Femina became one of India's greatest publishing successes.[citation needed]

After a market research agency study in 1989 the management of Femina decided that the reader's interest had shifted from family and home to personal care. Femina also initiated the Miss India shows in India.[3] It held the rights to choose Indian candidates for the Miss Universe, Miss World, Teen Princess, Miss Asia Pacific and other titles. Vimla Patil, the editor of Femina from 1959 to 1993, described the role that the pageant and the magazine had to play in creation of national identity: "When India became independent, there were, because of various states in India, different kinds of women. There was a Maharashtrian woman, there was a Punjabi woman, but nobody had identified what was an Indian woman. There was a question mark there. Who is the Indian woman? Nobody knew. Who was going to put all these threads together and make one fabric? That was the question. And the answer to that was Femina and Miss India."[3] Vimla Patil retired from Femina in 1993.

Vimla Patil wrote for several websites, television production companies and edited journals for various corporates such as the Leela Hotels Resorts Palaces group and Johnson & Johnson. One of the prominent assignments she completed was as the event planner and publicist for the 50th anniversary of India's Independence in 1997 for the National Gallery of Modern Art in collaboration with the Berlin Museum[disambiguation needed], West Germany, whose Indian art collection was brought for an exhibition in Mumbai. Among artists who performed for this event were Hema Malini (dance), Amrish Puri (poetry reading) and Vrinda Mundkur (vocal music).

Between 2002 and 2004, she wrote the scripts for four Son et Lumiere (Sound & Light Shows) for the Ministry of Tourism, India. The first for the Somnath Temple, Gujarat, is one of the most successful in India. In this show, she has written the English and Hindi scripts, designed the music and done the artistic direction. For the Udaygiri Cave show in Orissa, she wrote the script in English and Hindi. For the Ganges Water Show, Uttaranchal, she wrote the script in English and Hindi and designed the music. For the Nayakar Palace show in Tamil Nadu, she wrote only the English script.

In 2007–08, she created an audio-visual show called "Sacred Rivers of India" – pitching for the conservation of Indian rivers – showing how rivers have created the culture of India. This AV was shown at the Indian Merchants' Chamber, the Kala Ghoda Festival, Mumbai and the CSMVS (Prince of Wales Museum of Western India) and the Ramakrishna Mission, Mumbai.

She has been a major contributor to popular websites, magazines and newspapers all over India – and Asia – and continues to support women's rights through her writings. She has written several books on food. She published a book on Indian baby names, and another titled "How To Be Successful & Happy."

In 2011, Vimla Patil edited "Fabulous Thali Meals By Chetana".[4] She writes a regular column "Evesdropping" for New Woman Magazine on social issues. She expresses her views on strong women-oriented issues, exchanges her ideas on controversial subjects, and debates on sensitive topics concerning women.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 1970: Vimla Patil was invited by the Government of Germany to travel all over Germany and to interact with artists, writers and women in various professions.
  • 1974: She was deputed to interview Ms. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India just before the Emergency. A photograph taken during this interview appears in the book 'First Draft' by B.G. Verghese
  • 1975: She was chosen by the US Government as the Indian Woman Journalist of the International Women's Year 1975 and travelled through the USA, visiting universities and women's institutions from New York to Hawaii.
  • 1982: Honoured by the Benaras Hindu University as one of the top 10 women in India.
  • 1989: She was chosen to lead a 17 nation women's delegation to the Peace Summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Moscow.
  • 1999: She led a women activists' delegation to Iran – Teheran and Isfahan – to exchange experiences with the women of that country.
  • 1999: The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) awarded her the Travel Writer's Award. The prize was a luxury bus tour of England, Wales, Scotland to see the countryside.
  • board member, Tiger Watch NGO, Ranthambhore,[6]


  1. ^ " – Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph, Sunday". Telegraph. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Telegraph – Calcutta : Look". 14 November 2004. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Susan Dewey (2008). Making Miss India Miss World. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 0-8156-3176-6. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Fabulous Thali Meals By Chetana, Chetana Pvt. Ltd, 2011, ISBN 81-85300-60-7
  5. ^ "India's No.1 English Women's Monthly Magazine". Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Tiger India – Wildlife – Ranthambhore – Rajasthan – Ranthambore". Tiger Watch. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 

Further reading[edit]