Saraswati Dalmia (1915—2010) was a scholar and a poet and belonged to the generation of women of the 30s who contributed to the struggle for independence in India. While she continued to do social service, in her poems she also encouraged and supported women to action with great intuition and intelligence. Her inspirational writing in Hindi evolved new forms in prose and poetry. After her marriage to the industrialist R.K. Dalmia she also established a trust for the promotion of research and writing. In her evolution as a significant writer, at a time when women were not encouraged to enter the public domain, her life acts as a beacon for the struggle to survive against tremendous odds.
This scholarship has been established with a donation by her daughter Yashodhara Dalmia, an art historian and an independent curator based in New Delhi. She has written widely on art and her several publications include Amrita Sher-Gil – A Life (Penguin/Viking, 2006), which is a comprehensive account of the life of one of India’s first modern artists. Her book The Making of Modern Indian Art: The Progressives (Oxford University Press, 2001), is regarded as the definitive account of a seminal phase of Indian art history.