Born into a progressive middle-class family in 1939, Pushpa Bhave went to Elphinstone College in Mumbai and then pursued her Masters in Marathi literature and Sanskrit from Deccan College, Pune and subsequently she specialized in linguistics. Bhave joined the Samyukta Maharashtra movement in 1956, spearheaded by S M Joshee, aimed at lending voice to the aspirations of the peasants and working-class people of Maharashtra. In 1957, she participated in the Goa Liberation Movement, that aimed at liberating Goa from the colonial domination of Portugal. Over the years, through various processes such as village reconstruction and empowerment of women, she gradually came to participate in the Dalit Panther movement. Bhave is also a trustee of the Social Gratitude Fund, which supports activists who do not wish to take funds from international agencies. Currently, she is a member of People's Forum for Peace and Justice, National Council (India) and the Joint Committee (India-Pakistan), all of which aim to establish cordial relationships between India and Pakistan. Besides establishing herself as a distinguished academic, Bhave has also been examining socio-political processes through the lens of gender. Her activism among women bearing the double burden of caste and gender brought about her feminist consciousness. Through her five decades of advocacy, writings, and social and political activism she has made a major contribution to the development of grassroots democracy in the country.