She was born in 1893 in Jaora in Madhya Pradesh in a Vaishnva Marwari family in India and married to Jamnalal Bajaj who was a leading industrialist, who founded the Bajaj Group in 1926  and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. Along with participating in the freedom struggle movement, she also took up khadi n spinning on charkha, worked for women upliftment,goseva and the betterment of the lives of harijans and their temple entry in 1928. After independence she worked with Vinoba Bhave on Bhoodan movement.
She was conferred Padma Vibhushan the second highest civilian award in 1956. She published her autobiography titled, Meri Jivan Yatra in 1965 and died in 1979. Many educational institutions and awards have been set up in her memory, including Janaki Devi Bajaj Institute of Management Studies and 'Jankidevi Bajaj Gram Vikas Sanstha' established by Bajaj Electricals.
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