Women have played an important role in the social, economic and political changes that took place in the country. Women fought a double battle both at home and outside. If we talk about the history of Northeast India, then women took part in many big movements there too. Today we are going to tell you about five women personalities of Northeast India, who tried to remove the disparities spread in their area.
1. Meena Agarwal
Meena Agarwal, a social activist from Assam, worked for women’s rights throughout her life. She was associated with Tezpur Mahila Samiti for a long time. Inspired by Chandraprabha Saikiyani, who played an important role in removing the purdah system from Assam, she worked for women’s rights throughout her life.
Meena Agarwal became the president of Tezpur District Social Welfare Board in the 1950s. She did many remarkable works for rural women. She organized women to welcome Tibetan refugees. In 1962, his team raised funds for the National Defense Fund against Chinese aggression. She also spoke for the rights of Muslim women and stood against triple talaq, mehr and incompetent maintenance. She widely advocated the education of women, especially the education of rural women.
On 24 July 2014, this great woman leader of the Northeast breathed her last.
2. Silverine Swell
Silvereen Swer was a social worker from Meghalaya. He was born in the Khasi community of Shillong. She was the first woman to become a trainer and mentor of the Girls Guide Movement. He was appointed by the British Government as Assistant Ration Controller during World War II. His contribution to the academic field is immense. Initially she was a member of the Teachers Training Institute at Changlang Tirap and later worked as the Principal there. Swer studied at the Scottish Church College in Kolkata.
Silverine Swar retired in the year 1968. She served as the Chief Social Education Organizer in Arunachal Pradesh for 15 years. Even after retiring, his work in the social sector did not stop. She was associated with various women’s organizations. She was also the chairperson of the State Social Welfare Advisory Board. She did a lot of work for the tribal women in Meghalaya. He passed away on 1 February 2014 at the age of 103 after his long contribution in social work.
3. Chandraprabha Saikian
Chandraprabha Saikiyani contributed to the removal of the purdah system in Assam. He opened primary school at the age of only 13. Along with this, in 1926, the Assam Pradeshik Mahila Samiti was also established. She stood for the education of women and girls from a very young age. In the year 1918, the Assam session was being run by the Assam Students’ Union. During that time Chandraprabha Saikiyani talked about the ill effects of opium consumption and demanded its ban.
She was always against caste discrimination. He advocated the entry of women in religious places and rituals. She also became a part of the non-cooperation movement and participated in the Indian freedom struggle. In 1925, he delivered a speech on gender equality and justice at the Naugaon session of the Assam Sahitya Sabha.
Chandraprabha opposed keeping women and men in a barricade. Founding the Assam Pradeshik Mahila Samiti in 1926, she expressed her anger against patriarchal oppression such as child marriage and supported women’s education and self-employment.
Chandraprabha Saikiyani breathed his last on 16 March 1972. He was awarded the Padma Shri for his work.
4. Kanaklata Barua
Kanaklata Barua of Northeast India was one of the Assamese leaders involved in the Indian independence movement. He took part in the Quit India Movement. Barua fought fearlessly against the British. He took part in the freedom struggle against the British rule at the Gohpur Police Station.
Barua had led a women’s procession to hoist the tricolor, which was supposed to unfurl the Indian flag at the police station. Kanaklata Barua walked towards the police station with the Indian flag. When she was moving towards the police station, the police opened fire on the crowd, killing her.
Belonging to the prestigious and conservative Dolkharia Barua family, Kanaklata passed away at the age of 17. She had faced tough times since childhood, as she was orphaned at the age of 5. But despite this, he took charge of his siblings and the house. He was posthumously given the titles of ‘Shaheed’ and ‘Birbala’.
5. Sati Joymoti
Joymoti of Northeast India was an Ahom princess and later became the queen of Raja Gadadhara (Gadapani / Supatfa) Singh. Her self-sacrifice for her state and that of her husband is considered famous in Assam. He sacrificed his life at the hands of Lora Rosa (Sulikfa) to establish a state free from corruption, oppression and inefficient administration.
When Lora Raja and his soldiers came to capture Joymati’s husband, her husband managed to escape but Joymati was taken hostage. After being tied to a thorny plant, he faced constant inhuman physical torture at Jareng Pathar in Assam’s Sivasagar district. Despite being tortured, Joymoti did not reveal her husband’s whereabouts.
She tried to protect her husband and her kingdom till her last breath and for this reason she was given the title of Sati. He tried to save his kingdom and people from the atrocities of Sulikfa. She soon became the epitome of bravery after this act. Her selfless sacrifice, patriotism, courage and truthfulness earn her the title of a heroine in Assamese history including Northeast India. Sati Joymoti Divas (Remembrance Day of Sati) is organized in Assam every year on 27 March in her memory.
The Better India Salutes the memory of these great women of Northeast India.
Editing – G N Jha
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