Sarala Devi Chaudhurani

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Sarala Devi Chaudhurani
সরলা দেবী চৌধুরানী
Sarala Devi Chaudhurani.jpg
Sarala Devi Chaudhurani
Born (1872-09-09)September 9, 1872
Kolkata, Bengal, British India
Died August 18, 1945(1945-08-18) (aged 72)
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Bengali Hindu
Occupation Educationist
Religion Hinduism
Spouse(s) Rambhuj Dutt Chaudhuri

Sarala Devi Chaudhurani (Bengali: সরলা দেবী চৌধুরানী) (9 September 1872 – 18 August 1945) was the founder of the first women's organisation in India, the Bharat Stree Mahamandal in Allahabad in 1910. One of the primary goals of the organisation was to promote female education, which at that time was not well developed. The organisation opened several offices in Lahore (then part of undivided India), Allahabad, Delhi, Karachi, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Bankura, Hazaribagh, Midnapur and Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) to improve the situation of women all over India.


Sarala Devi was born in Kolkata in 1872 to a well known Bengali intellectual family. Her father Janakinath Ghosal was one of the earliest secretaries of the Bengal Congress. Her mother Swarnakumari Devi was the first successful woman novelist of Bengali literature. Swarnakumari Devi was the daughter of 'Maharshi' Debendranath Tagore, a leading Brahmo leader and elder sister of legendary poet Rabindranath Tagore. In 1886, she passed her University Entrance examination. In 1890, She passed her B.A. examination in English literature from Calcutta University and received the Padmavati Gold Medal. She was also one of the few women graduates of her time, and probably the first woman political leader from Bengal in the Indian independence movement.

Personal life[edit]

In 1905, she was married to Pandit Rambhuj Dutt Chaudhary (1866–1923), a journalist, and member of Arya Samaj and Congress. Their son Dipak Dutt married Radha, grand daughter of Mahatma Gandhi.

Relationship with Mohandas K. Gandhi[edit]

Gifted, well-informed, dynamic and driven, Saraladevi was 29 when Gandhi first saw her, in 1901, conducting an orchestra as it played a song she had written for the Congress Party. By his own admission, Gandhi had developed a soft corner for and was specially enamoured by Sarala Devi.