Nikhil Dey was born in Bangalore in 1963. He was educated in India and the USA (12th std from Thomas Jefferson High School, Fairfax County Virginia USA), Bachelors Degree from Osmania University, and got his degree in law from the University of Delhi. After working briefly with the Kheduth Mazdoor Chetna Sangathana in Madhya Pradesh, he joined Aruna Roy and Shankar Singh in 1987 to go to Devdungri, in Rajsamand District in Rajasthan where along with many others they helped found the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)*.
Since 1990, he has been a full time worker of the MKSS, and has been involved in struggles of the poor for justice, including grass root struggles for land and the payment of minimum wages. He has also been a part of peoples organisations taking responsibility for putting together “peoples drafts” of the Right to Information and Employment Guarantee Bills. Nikhil has also played a prominent part in the ongoing effort by peoples movements to build institutions of participatory democracy, where for instance, peoples platforms for public audits are now being institutionalised by introducing statutory requirements of social audits and public hearings. He received the K L Bordia Award for social service in 2013. He has been a member of the Central Employment Guarantee Council (CEGC) and of the State Employment Guarantee Council of Rajasthan, as well as several official committees related to the formulation of policy for rural development. He is also a Co-convener of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI).