Sarojini Naidu the Nightingale of India, born on 13 February 1879 was an Indian independence activist, poet and the first Indian woman to be the president of Indian National Congress.
Facts to know about Sarojini Naidu, the Nightingale of India
- Sarojini Naidu was born in a Bengali Hindu family in Hyderabad and was the eldest in the eight siblings.
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- In 1895, Nizam’s Charitable Trust, HEH gave her the chance to study in England, first at King’s College London and then at Girton College, Cambridge.
- Sarojini met Paidipati Govindarajulu Naidu, a physician, and after finishing her studies, she married him at the age of 19.
- At that time, Inter-caste marriages were not common as they are today, but their families agreed to their marriage.
- The couple had five children. Their daughter Paidipati Padmaja was part of the Quit India Movement and was also a part of an independence movement.
- In 1916, she fought for the rights of farmers in Champaran, Bihar against Britishers. Farmers were forced to grow indigo instead of the food crops they required for their survival.
- Naidu was the chairwoman of the annual session of Indian National Congress at Kanpur in 1925.
- She was honored with Kaisar-i-Hind Medal by the British government for her work during the plague epidemic in India.
- Naidu participated in the second round-table conference with Gandhiji and Madan Mohan Malaviya in 1931.
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- For participating in the Salt March she was jailed along with Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Madan Mohan Malviya.
- Again in 1942, during “Quit India Movement” she was arrested by the British army.
- Naidu died because of cardiac arrest on 2 March 1949 at the Government House in Lucknow.
- Various institutions are established in the memory of Sarojini such as Sarojini Naidu College for Women, Medical College, Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital and Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication