11 interesting facts about Nightingale of India

Sarojni Naidu also founded the Women’s India Association in 1917 for the rights, suffrage and representation of women in organizations and assemblies. Image courtesy of: (INC website)

Highlights

  • Sarojini Naidu was born in Hyderabad in 1879 into the Begali Brahmin family.
  • Her birthday is also celebrated as National Women’s Day in India.

New Delhi: This year, the nation is celebrating the 143rd birth anniversary of freedom fighter, poet, activist and lyricist Sarojni Naidu, also called India’s Nightingale or “Bharat Kokila” by Mahatma Gandhi because of her poems.

Sarojini Naidu was born in Hyderabad in 1879 into the Begali Brahmin family. His father Aghorenath Chattopadhyay served as Principal of Nizam’s College in Hyderabad. Her birthday is also celebrated as National Women’s Day in India.

Let’s take a look at some facts about ‘Bharat Kokila’

  1. At the age of 12, Sarojini Naidu started her career in literature. She wrote a play called “Maher Muneer” in Persian language and gained worldwide recognition.
  2. She was the first Indian woman to serve as President of the Indian National Congress in 1925.
  3. Naidu was admitted to Madras University at the age of 12 and later studied at King’s College London. She then joined Girton College, Cambridge.
  4. After Indian independence, Naidu was appointed governor of the United Provinces, now Uttar Pradesh. With her appointment, she became India’s first female governor.
  5. She was one of the main leaders of the civil disobedience movement and the Quit India movement.
  6. Sarojni Naidu faced repeated arrests by British colonial authorities at the time and spent over 21 months in prison.
  7. Naidu wrote poetry on several subjects, including more serious themes like patriotism, romance, and tragedy. His ‘In the Bazaars of Hyderabad’ remains one of his most popular poems. It was published in 1912.
  8. Sarojni Naidu also accompanied Mahatma Gandhi to London for the second Round Table on Indo-British Cooperation in 1931.
  9. She also founded the Women’s India Association in 1917 for the rights, suffrage and representation of women in organizations and assemblies.
  10. Naidu’s first collection of poems was published in 1905, titled “The Golden Threshold”. In 1961, Padmaja Naidu, the daughter of Sarojini Naidu, published her second collection of poems titled “The Feather of Dawn” which was written in 1927.
  11. Naidu died of cardiac arrest on 2 March 1949 at Government House, Lucknow.

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