Women Freedom Fighters From Odisha Who Exhibited A Lot Of Spunk

0

Bhubaneswar: In the struggle for India’s Independence from the colonial rule, contribution of the women can’t be neglected. On International; Women’s Day, let us have a look at some forgotten women freedom fighters of Odisha.

Rama Devi Choudhury

Rama Devi was the first women freedom fighter of Odisha. She was born in 1899 in the small village of Satyabhamapur near Cuttack. She did not get proper education and was married off at the age of 15 to Gopabandhu Chowdhury.

She and her husband joined the Indian independence movement in 1921. She was highly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and used to go from village to village to encourage women to join the independence movement. Others who had an influenced on her were Jai Prakash Narayan, Vinoba Bhave and her uncle Madhusudan Das.

In 1921, she met Gandhiji and with her husband joined the Non-Cooperation Movement. The same year they joined the Indian National Congress and started wearing khadi. In the year 1930, she took active part in the Salt Satyagraha movement in Odisha.

She and her colleagues were arrested in November 1930 and put in different jails by the British. She was arrested several times with other women freedom fighters like Sarala Devi and Malati Choudhury and sent to jail.

She got herself actively involved in the Harijan welfare. During Quit India Movement of 1942, the entire family of Rama Devi including her husband Gopabandhu Choudhury were arrested.

After the death of Kasturba Gandhi, Gandhji assigned her with the work of the representative of Kasturba Trust’s of Orissa Chapter.

She died on July 22, 1985.

Laxmi Panda

Laxmi Panda, one of the youngest members of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose’s India National Army (INA), fought for the freedom of the country.

Laxmi’s parents were killed in a British air raid in 1943, following which, she and her younger brother were orphaned. She was determined to avenge the death of her parents and joined the INA.

She, perhaps, is the only Odia woman to have been enlisted with the INA and joined its camp in what was then Burma. Bose personally gave her the new name of Indira, to avoid confusing her with the far more famous (Captain) Lakshmi Sehgal at that time.

 Sarala Devi

Sarala Devi joined the non-cooperation movement during the Indian freedom struggle in 1921.

She was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and strived hard to reform social evils and uplift the status of women. She was also the first Odia woman to be selected as the delegate in the Indian National Congress.

In the independent India, she was the first woman to become a member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly. She was also the first female speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

Malati Choudhury

Malati Choudhury, an inspiring freedom fighter of Odisha, was originally from Kamarakhanda in Bikrampur, Bangladesh. But she had settled in a small village in Odisha. She married Nabakrushna Choudhury in 1927.

In 1934, Malati Choudhuri joined Mahatma Gandhi in his famous Padayatra in Odisha and in 1946, she set up the Bajiraut Chhatravas and the Utkal Navajeevan Mandal in 1948 at Angul.

Bajiraut Chhatravas was formed to spread education among the children of the freedom fighters, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes and under-privileged sections of society.

In 1946, Malati Choudhury was selected as the member of Constituent Assembly of India. She accompanied Acharya Vinoba Bhave during Bhoodan Movement.

 

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.