Friday, December 10, 2021

Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain: Leading educationist, author and champion of women's rights in undivided India

An author and educationist who opened the famous school for girls more than a century ago, Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, is one of the most inspiring women and a role model in the sub-continent. 

Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain was a multi-faceted personality who was champion of women's rights and a writer. 

In fact, she wrote extensively and left two volumes that has collections of her essays apart from a famous novel. 

She dreamt of a world where women were at the top--working as scientists, flying aircrafts, running universities and taking stand against war. 

Talking about her achievements, just remember the era she belongs to--she was born before Maulana Azad and Jawahar Lal Nehru. She presided over education conference, organised women, opened the school that runs in Kolkata till today [now run by the State government]. 

After marriage, her husband had fully backed her and she learnt English. Begum Rokeya had gone from house to house, urging women to send their daughters to school. She attended conclaves and conferences, even presided over Indian Women's Conference.

Her life is a shining example of how a woman in that era, worked hard for emancipation of women. She died in 1932, at the age of just 52. She was buried in Sodepur in North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, India. She was born in undivided India and she is a hero in Bangladesh too. BBC's poll had her listed at sixth place. 

She was born in Rangpur. Her birth and death anniversary fall on December 9, and hence it is termed as Rokeya Day. Great women leaders who led in social, educational fields, wrote & stirred people apart from literary output, pathbreaking work on the ground, must be remembered. 

Photo courtesy: Pirganj Kasimon Nessa Girls' High School, Pirganj, Rangpur [Facebook page]