The well known actress Sulabha Deshpande was born in 1937 in Bombay. She studied at Siddhartha College and received a degree in education and worked as a teacher in Chhabildas High School. Throwing herself wholeheartedly into theatre, she became involved with children`s theatre, directing and staging several children`s plays, including the famous Durga jhali Gauri (1982). She organized training camps for children, and toured Norway, Japan, the USSR and USA to study children`s theatre.
In 1960 Deshpande helped establish the trailblazing group Rangayan. After it disintegrated, she, her husband Arvind Deshpande, and Arun Kakade founded Awishkar, an experimental group that gave rise to the so-called `Chhabildas movement`. Her lead acting in Vijay Tendulkar`s plays, creating the role of the persecuted school teacher Benare in Shantata! Court chalu ahe in 1967, captured on film by Satyadev Dubey in 1971, and as the exploited Champa in Sakharam Binder won great critical acclaim. She did several other plays such as Badal Sircar`s Evam Indrajit in Hindi and Marathi.