Born in 1934 in Lahore, Shrimati Leelavati M. Kavi has worked for the cause of puppetry and other traditional art s over the past forty years. She was trained in puppetry under Meher Contractor at the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts , Ahmedabad (1966-1970), and also in theatre (1965-67) at the same institution. She is a trained filmmaker, and visiting faculty at the Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, where she teaches development communication and journalism.
Shrimati Leelavati has performed with her puppets all over India, and has besides helped her husband, the well-known puppeteer Mahipat Kavi, with research for his book on Amar Singh Rathore, the central figure in the puppet theatre of northern India. She has also helped in the production of a film on Umar-Marvi made by Mahipat Kavi. She is an active member of several institutions working for the development of the arts in Gujarat.
She has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Theatre and Media Centre, Ahmedabad (2010), and the Nari Shakti Award (2013) of the Jasuben Shilpi Art Foundation.
Shrimati Leelavati M. Kavi receives the Sangeet Narak Akademi Award for her contribution to puppetry.