Lesser-Known Powerful Women Freedom Fighters from Bihar

The women’s power participated actively in the freedom struggle and shouldered the responsibility of social service at the call of Mahatma Gandhi. Some schools were opened to educate women during the 19th century in Bihar. Many educated families allowed women to participate in public events. Women started participating in public meetings of Gandhi Ji during his Bihar tour. The natural outcome of this resulted in the participation of women in political and social reforms. It gave impetus to the freedom struggle.

Prabhavati Devi Narayan

Prabhavati Devi was an Indian freedom fighter. She was married to Jai Prakash Narayan on 16th May 1920. He advised her to study and learn weaving with Charkha. The couple jointly decided not to have any children until the country was free from foreign yoke. She was arrested in Lucknow in 1932 during the call of a boycott of foreign goods. She was entrusted with the job of organizing girl volunteers by Gandhi Ji and Rajendra Prasad.

Prabhavati established Mahila Charkha Samiti at Patna to involve deserted and abandoned women in the charkha or the spinning wheel movement on the Gandhian model. When Quit India Movement started, she was arrested and sent to Bhagalpur jail. The last few years were especially painful for her as she was found to be suffering from advanced cancer. She died On 15 April 1973.

Vindhyavasini Devi

Vindhyavasini Devi dedicated herself to social work after meeting with Gandhi Ji in 1919. She became a permanent member of Congress also. Her patriotism influenced many and they unhesitatingly sent their daughters to protest the sale of foreign goods and liquor.

Vindhyavasini Devi, along with other women was arrested during salt agitation in 1930. She was sent to Muzaffarpur jail in 1932 and the government declared the Kanya Swyam Sevika Dal illegal.

Ram Pyari Devi

Ram Pyari Devi was married to Jagat Narayan Lal on 12th March 1930 and on 30th March she participated in Salt Satyagraha. She was jailed for one year. She was so popular that she defeated Kisan leader Sahajanand Saraswati to become a member of the All India Congress Committee and remained a member till 1939. She was repeatedly arrested for her political speeches.

Tara Rani Srivastava

Credits – The Better India

Tara Rani was born in a simple family in Saran, Bihar, and got married to Phulendu Babu. She used to organize women in and around her village and accompanied her husband, on protest marches against colonial rule. They joined the Quit India Movement of Gandhi Ji in 1942, regulated protests, and planned to raise the Indian flag on the roof of the Siwan Police Station. They managed to gather a crowd and began their march towards the Siwan Police Station, shouting ‘Inquilab’. When they were marching towards them, the police started lathi-charge. When the protest could not be controlled the police resorted to firing. Phulendu was hit and fell to the ground. Undeterred, Tara bandaged him with the help of her sari and continued to lead the crowd towards the station shouting ‘Inquilab’ while holding the Indian flag. Her husband died, when Tara came back but she continued to support the freedom struggle.

Tarkeshwari Sinha

Born on December 26, 1926 in Bihar, Sinha was not aloof to the ongoing freedom struggle in the country. A student of Bankipore College in Patna, she joined the 1942 Quit India Movement at the young age of 16. The trials of Indian National Army soldiers at the Red Fort in 1945 attracted her a lot and she inclined towards politics. She was soon elected the president of the Bihar students Congress. Sinha was among those who received Mahatma Gandhi in Nalanda, who was in the region to quell the Hindu-Muslim riots during the Partition. Sinha died on August 14, 2007 in New Delhi.

This has to be accepted that the participation of women from Bihar strengthened the women’s emancipation movement. As the result, women of the state and the country are not behind men in the matter of attaining education and work.

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Riya Singh