Prof. Ganesh Devy, a former professor of English, embarked on a search for India's languages, he expected to walk into a graveyard, littered with dead and dying mother tongues.
He led the People's Linguistic Survey of India in 2010, which has researched and documented 780 Living Indian Languages. He was educated at Shivaji University, Kolhapurand the University of Leeds, UK. Among his many academic assignments, he has held fellowships at Leeds University and Yale University and has been a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow(1994–96).
He was awarded Padma Shri on 26 January 2014 in recognition of his work with denotified and nomadic tribes education and his work on dying-out languages. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for After Amnesia, and the SAARC Writers’ Foundation Award for his work with denotified tribals. He has also won the reputed Prince Claus Award(2003) awarded by the Prince Claus Fund for his work for the conservation of the history, languages and views of oppressed communities in the Indian state of Gujarat.