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great women of India


 

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Women have a special place of pride and honour in the Indian Society. Their role in nation building is also well recognized. Like men they too have excelled in every walk of life.
If we turn the pages of History we come across great women rulers, queen warriors, women leaders, women Freedom Fighters, women saints, scholars, writers, social workers and what have you? . The country remembers them and honours them and brings out commemorative postage stamps in their fond memory even after they are gone. Some like are the following:

WOMEN LEADERS - II

KASTURBA GANDHI (1869-1944).

She was the daughter of Gokuladas Makharji of Porbunder. She was married to Gandhi at the age of 13. Simple and self- effacing she stood devotedly by her great husband in all his trials and tribulations. She was in the thick of the Freedom Movement and went to jail several times. The shock of country wide arrests during Quit India Movement deteriorated her health and she suffered a severe heart attack. She breathed her last on 22-2-1944. 

KASTURBA GANDHI (1869-1944).

KAMALA NEHRU (1899-1936)

KAMALA NEHRU (1899-1936)

She was the daughter of Pandit Jawaharlal Mul, a businessman of Delhi. Married to Jawaharlal Nehru at the age of 17 she gave birth to the only daughter Indira Priyadarshini. Within 3 years of marriage her husband plunged into Non-cooperation Movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Kamala was a woman of great courage and determination and she also threw herself into the Civil Disobedience Movement and the historic Dandi March by Mahatma Gandhi. Her brave and heroic role in the freedom struggle left an indelible imprint on the Nationalist Movement. She died at a very young age on 28-02-1936.

DURGABAI DESHMUKH (1909 - 1981)

She was the mother of social work in India. She was born in a middles class Andhra family in Kakinada. In 1937 she founded Andhra Mahila Sabha in Madras which to-day runs two hospitals, 2 colleges and 3 high schools. As Member of Parliament she worked to set up a social welfare board on 13-8-1953 to carry out programmes of educating, training and rehabilitating the needy women, children and the disabled. She was the recipient of a number of awards including Padma Bhushan and the UNESCO award for outstanding work in the field of literacy.

DURGABAI DESHMUKH (1909 - 1981)

RAJKUMARI AMRIT KAUR (1889 - 1964)

RAJKUMARI AMRIT KAUR (1889 - 1964)

She was born in a Royal family of Kapurtala. Her father was Raja Harnam Singh. She had her education in London. When she returned to India at the age of 20 her father kindled in her the flame of National Movement. She took part in Salt Satyagraha and Quit India Movement and also became an active social worker. She was the first woman to hold a post in the cabinet as Minister in 1947. Her major contribution as Minister of Health was the setting up of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. She remained a Rajya Sabha Member till her death on 02-02-1964

RUKMINI LAXMIPATHI (1892-1951) 

She was born in an agriculturist family in Madras and was married to Dr. Achanta Laxmipathi. Rukmini was deeply influenced by national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu and C. Ragopalachari. She joined the congress in 1923 and gave all her jewellery to Harijan Welfare Fund. She actively participated in Salt Satyagraha and had to undergo imprisonment for a year. She was elected to Madras Legislative Assembly in 1937, and served as Health Minister in T. Prakasan Ministry in 1946. She was a great social reformer and worked for the upliftment of women in society. She died on 6-8-1951.

RUKMINI LAXMIPATHI (1892-1951) 

VIJAYALAXMI PUNDIT (1900-1990)

VIJAYALAXMI PUNDIT (1900-1990)

She was the younger sister of Jawaharlal Nehru. She was the first woman to be elected president of the United Nations General Assembly (1953-54). She joined the National Movement inspired by Gandhiji's call and courted arrest in 1932 and 1940. She served as ambassador of India in USSR, USA, Mexico, Ireland and Spain and also as High Commissioner of UK. She was elected to Loksabha in 1952 and 1964 and served as Governor of Maharashtra during 1962-64.

INDIRA GANDHI (1917-1984) 

Born in Allahabad she had education in Switzerland, Oxford, Bombay, Pune and at Shantiniketan. She married Feroz Gandhi in 1942 and had two sons Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi. 

She provided dynamic leadership to the country as Prime Minister from 1966 - 1977 and again from 1980-1984. She abolished privy purses, nationalized Banks and launched a twenty - point programme for the eradication of poverty in the country. She had been the recipient of many International and National awards including Bharat Ratna in 1972 She was assassinated on the morning of 31-10-1984 and India lost a most charismatic leader in her death.

INDIRA GANDHI (1917-1984) 

 

MEERA BEHN (1892 - 1982)

She was born as Madeleine Slade in an aristocratic family in England. She read Romain Rolland's book 'Mahatma Gandhi' at one sitting and this changed the course of her life. She came to India and remained with Gandhiji. Gagndhiji gave her the name Meera in view of her devotion to him and her dedication and service to India. In India she was sent to Kanya Gurukul at Dehradun where she studied Hindi and scriptures and taught English there.

She accompanied Gandhiji to the Round Table Conference in 1932 and acted as Gandhiji's interpreter in the continents on their way back. She joined the Satyagraha Movement and was imprisoned once with Kasturba and twice by herself. She was arrested along with Bapu on 9-8-1942 and was in the Aghakhan Palace Detention camp till May 1944.

On 18-1-1959 she left the shores of India and settled in a small village near Vienna and died there on 20-7-1982 . She was awarded Padma Vibhushan in January 1982.

 


Women Warriors
 
Women Rulers
Women Leaders
Women Leaders II

Women Saints

Other Great Women
Other Great Women II
 

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