Written By Sahithi Divi
I beleive that the untold stories of bravery can light up our souls to fight for a better tomorrow. There is nothing more powerful than a strong will combined with ultimately ferrious compassion. India is a land of roaring personalities and their remarkable stories. Today I am going to share an extremely proud story of a child bride from Andhra Pradesh who became the freedom fighter of India and much more than that. – Sahithi Divi
” DURGA BAI DESHMUKH ”1909 – 1981
- She was born on July 15, 1909, in the coastal Andhra Pradesh town of Rajahmundry to a social worker.
- She got married at the age of eight . Freed herself from the child marriage with the help of her father.
- As she turned 15, she fuelled up her life with a mission to uphold the position of women in India, Freedom Struggle and drafting the India constitution.
- She revolted against the imposition of English in the schools , even quit her school.
- She gave up every western attire to wear only hand spun Khadi.
- She also led the Salt Satyagraha movement which took place in Madras and was sentenced to spend in jail inbetween the years 1930 to 1933.
- Her stay in the jail gave her a close insight and understanding of the unmatched suffering of women who did not commit crimes. This led her to study law for mastering the rights and community strength.
- She was the member of the constituent assembly and participated in moving almost 750 ammendments as a steering committee member of rules and proceedure at that time.
- She was the founder of Andhra Mahila Sabha
- She married Chintaman Deshmukh, the first governor of the Reserve Bank of India in 1953 with Jawaharlal Nehru as the witness.
- She also served as a chairperson of the Central Social Welfare Board .
- She also led the National Council of Women which she established in 1958. Set up to ensure equal rights of women in society.
- Durgabai Deshmukh was the President of the Blind Relief Association and she also set up a school and light engineering workshop for the blind.
- She represented India as a member of the Indian delegation in the World Food Congress held in Washington DC in 1963.
- Durga Bai Deshmukh is a proud reciever of the Paul G Hoffman Award, Nehru Literacy Award, UNESCO Award and Padma Vibhushan.
- After her priceless contribution to the nation, which we are still enjoying today ;She passed away in 1981.
“Life is uncertain and the life-span is limited. Why, then, wait to do a good thing?”Durga Bai Deshmukh
Let us understand that Gender is a construct. If you have the will to make a change, you will advocate for it – Sahithi Divi
( source : http://www.impactscientist.com ) ( image courtesy : https://indianexpress.com/article/gender/durgabai-deshmukh-the-trail-blazer-institution-builder-devoted-to-public-service-5038550/ , https://www.thebetterindia.com/163178/durgabai-independence-constitution-hero-india-news/ )