Meet Atishi Marlena, the education crusader who won for AAP in the Delhi elections

Atishi Marlena, who won form the Kalkaji constituency in New Dehli, has been a member of AAP since inception. She is well-known for her educational reforms.

Rekha Balakrishnan

Nirandhi Gowthaman

Meet Atishi Marlena, the education crusader who won for AAP in the Delhi elections

Tuesday February 11, 2020,

2 min Read

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and one of its star candidates Atishi Marlena faced some tense moments before the results declared that she won from the Kalkaji constituency in the recently concluded elections to the Delhi Assembly.

Winning by a margin of more than 11,000 votes, her closest rival was Dharambir Singh of BJP.

Though Atishi has been a favourite right from the beginning, she faced stiff competition from Shivani Chopra, the daughter of Delhi Congress President Subhash Chopra, who was also a candidate from the Kalkaji constituency.

In the General Elections in May 2019, Atishi faced a crushing defeat, coming third and lost her deposit from the East Delhi constituency, despite having led several important education reforms for the AAP.

She has been an important member of the Party since its inception, and also served as adviser to the education minister with the aim of revamping the system in the capital.

Atishi Marlena

Here are a few things you need to know about Atishi Marlena, a rising young politician of the AAP.

  • She was born to Delhi University professors, Vijay Singh and Tripta Wahi.

  • She was named Marlena, a combination of Mar from Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. She later chose to use Atishi Marlena, dropping her surname from daily use.

  • In 2001, she graduated in History from St Stephen’s College and went on to study at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

  • Atishi taught at the Rishi Valley School in Karnataka.

  • She is involved with several non-profits, including Sambhavana Institute of Public Policy. Her interest lies in policymaking and education.

  • In May 2019, she contested the Parliamentary elections and lost to cricketer Gautam Gambhir in the East Delhi constituency. She also lost her deposit.

  • She has been an adviser to the education minister of Delhi. Under her advice, a new nursery curriculum has been introduced, training sessions for teachers have been doubled, appointment of guest teachers fast-tracked, and parent-teacher meetings being made mandatory.

  • She contested the Assembly elections for the first time and won from the Kalkaji constituency.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)