Shabana Azmi, one of the finest actresses in India is a social and women's rights activist. She has been a member of the National Integration Council headed by the Prime Minister of India since 1989 and a member of National AIDS Commission (of India). In appreciation of her work, she was nominated as a member of Rajya Sabha in 1997.
She has campaigned against ostracism of victims of AIDS and spoke about the injustice in their real life. In 1998, the United Nations Population Fund appointed her as their Goodwill Ambassador for India. Shabana Azmi and her husband Javed Akhtar are strong dissenters of the country. She emerged as a forceful critic of religious extremism after the 1993 Mumbai riots. She even opposed the advice of the grand mufti of Jama Masjid calling upon the Muslims of India to join the people of Afghanistan in their fight.
Shabana is the daughter of famous poet Kaifi Azmi and theatre actress Shaukat Kaifi. She made her acting debut in Ankur (1974) after she completed her studies from Film and Television Institute of India. She was last seen in the 2016 film Chalk and Duster. Shabana received National Award for Best Supporting Actress in the Sonam Kapoor-starrer Neerja. The actress is a five-time national award winner.