Asia

Mahashweta Devi, Indian writer, social activist, dies at 90

  • FILE – In this Jan. 24, 2013 file photo, Indian writer Mahasweta Devi delivers the keynote address during the opening of India's Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur, India. Devi, a well-known Indian writer and social activist, who used her writing to give voice to the oppressed poor tribal and forest dwellers died Thursday, July 28, 2016 at a Kolkata hospital. She was 90. (AP Photo/Deepak Sharma, File)

    FILE – In this Jan. 24, 2013 file photo, Indian writer Mahasweta Devi delivers the keynote address during the opening of India's Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur, India. Devi, a well-known Indian writer and social activist, who used her writing to give voice to the oppressed poor tribal and forest dwellers died Thursday, July 28, 2016 at a Kolkata hospital. She was 90. (AP Photo/Deepak Sharma, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Aug. 31, 1997 file photo, Philippine President Fidel Ramos presents the 1997 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts to Mahasweta Devi of India during the award ceremony in Manila. Devi, a well-known Indian writer and social activist, who used her writing to give voice to the oppressed poor tribal and forest dwellers died Thursday, July 28, 2016 at a Kolkata hospital. She was 90. (AP Photo/Victoria Calaguian, File)

    FILE- In this Aug. 31, 1997 file photo, Philippine President Fidel Ramos presents the 1997 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts to Mahasweta Devi of India during the award ceremony in Manila. Devi, a well-known Indian writer and social activist, who used her writing to give voice to the oppressed poor tribal and forest dwellers died Thursday, July 28, 2016 at a Kolkata hospital. She was 90. (AP Photo/Victoria Calaguian, File)  (The Associated Press)

Mahashweta Devi, a well-known Indian writer and social activist, who used her writing to give voice to the oppressed poor tribal and forest dwellers, has died. She was 90.

Devi had been in a hospital in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata where she was being treated for a kidney ailment for the past two months, Press Trust of India said.

Writing mostly in the Bengali language, Devi's major works dealt with the suffering of poor laborers and forest dwellers who had lost their lands due to industrial and urban growth.

Devi was the recipient of several awards including several of India's highest civilian and literary awards. In 1997 she was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay award, a Philippine honor considered the Asian Nobel Prize.