Search Giant Google on Saturday honoured the great Bengali poet and women rights activist Kamini Roy on her 155th birth anniversary. She was not just a great poet but an educator as well and was the first woman graduate with honours in the history of India. In 1924, Kamini Roy asked the most important question, “Why should a woman be confined to home and denied her rightful place in society?” and left the people thinking.
Born in the Bakerganj district of British India, now called Bangladesh, Roy was always keen on studying. Her father was a judge and a writer and also a leading member of the Brahmo Samaj. Inspired by him, she started writing in early age and was also one of the first girls to attend school in British India. Even when the society taught women to focus on marriage and household world, she continued her education and got involved in social work during college.
After graduation, Kamini became a teacher at Bethune. She published ‘Alo O Chhaya’, the first of her many books of poems, in 1889. She not just helped advance feminism but also formed organization for the causes she believed in. She also worked to help Bengali women win the right to vote in 1926.
Kamini Roy has been an awardee of Jagattarini medal by Calcutta University in 1929. She also became the vice-president of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad in in 1932-33. In 1894 she married Kedarnath Roy and had two children with him. She then devoted her life to her children, whom she referred to as ‘my living poems’. She breathed her last on 27th September in 1933 while she was staying in Hazirabagh with her family.
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