One of the most prominent members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Atishi is hailed for her role in Delhi’s famed education reforms. Born to Delhi University (DU) professors Vijay Singh and Tripta Wahi on 8 June 1981, Atishi received her school and college education in Delhi. Soon after graduating in history from DU’s St Stephen's College in 2001, she went to the Oxford University for further studies.
Atishi, who has dropped her surname, got associated with the AAP in 2013 and became involved in policy formulation for the party. She played a key role in leading the education reforms in Delhi. In 2015, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government appointed her an advisor to Manish Sisodia, the deputy chief minister and education minister. However, it was her removal from the post in 2018 that brought her into prominence. The cancellation of Atishi's appointment along with eight other party members by the Centre led to a tussle between the AAP and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -led central government.
Before joining AAP, Atishi had spent some time teaching history and English at Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh.
Stint in the Delhi govt's education department
Atishi is credited with playing an important role in the transformation of educational institutions in Delhi. According to reports, she made important contributions to improving the infrastructure of Delhi government schools, forming school management committees under the Right to Education Act, strengthening regulations to restrain private schools from hiking fees arbitrarily, and introducing the ‘happiness’ curriculum.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the AAP fielded her from the East Delhi constituency. Pitted against Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely and cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir, who was contesting on a BJP ticket, Atishi was seen as a strong contender. But she did not draw enough votes and lost to Gambhir.
The AAP has again named her as its candidate in the upcoming Delhi Assembly election from the Kalkaji constituency in South Delhi. Held at present by the AAP’s Avtar Singh, the Kalkaji seat will see a three-cornered battle this time among Atishi, the BJP’s Dharambir Singh, and the Congress Shivani Chopra.