UC Berkeley graduate dies in India after fall

UC Berkeley graduate Sharmi Doshi, known for her sense of humor, eloquence and passion, died in the early hours of Monday morning after falling off a building in India. She was 23.

Doshi, who graduated from UC Berkeley in spring 2010, sustained fatal injuries after falling from the 11th floor of her apartment building in Mumbai, India.

According to statements made by Gamdevi police to the Times of India, Doshi was talking to a friend on her cellphone when she lost her balance and fell from a balcony.

Matthew White, a close friend who met Doshi on Sproul Plaza when he was running for ASUC Senate in 2009, described her as “extremely dedicated to what she believed in.”

“She was not afraid to speak her mind and always encouraged others to do the same,” White said.

Doshi was born in Los Angeles and attended a two-year community college in Santa Monica, Calif., before transferring to UC Berkeley, where she majored in political science.

After arriving at UC Berkeley, she became involved with the Cal Debate Team.

“I think she made a big impact on the debate community. She was one of the most outgoing and charismatic members we ever had,” said Evan Ezray, a debate teammate and close friend.

In 2010 Doshi and her debate partner Emily Maine qualified for the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence — the national championships for the parliamentary style of debate.

According to Maine, the two built an argument that the treatment of women within the debate community creates an environment in which women feel inferior, leading to lower levels of female participation.

“Before the tournament, Sharmi and I sat down over Indian food and talked about what topic we wanted to use,” Maine said. “We both agreed the treatment of women in debate was, in our minds, the most important issue. It was what Sharmi wanted to be her final argument — the one that would close out her debate career.”

Doshi spoke in front of the campus community after the terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008. She frequently criticized the violence between Hindus and Muslims in the Kashmir region of India.

“She was proud to be Indian, proud of where she came from,” White said.

According to White, after she graduated, Doshi returned to Mumbai, where she lived with her parents and grandparents. Doshi was engaged and was to be married.

While there, Doshi worked with abused women and several nonprofit organizations. White said Doshi planned to return to the Bay Area and continue her community service work.

“She was a spokesperson for humanity” said Vivian Amezcua, a close friend and debate teammate.

White said that Doshi was the kind of person who always wanted to give back to her community and help others.