Sarala Devi

Sarala Devi Chaudhurani

Sarala Devi Chaudhurani (সরলাদেবী চৌধুরানী) (also known as Sarala Ghoshal) (1872–1945) 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 Calcutta in 1872 to Bengal's cream of aristocratic intellectual family. Her father Janakinath Ghosal was one of the earliest secretary of Bengal Congress. Her mother Swarnakumari Devi was the first successful woman novelist of Bengali literature. Swarnakumari Devi was the daughter of 'Maharshi' Debendranath Tagore, leading Brahmo leader and elder sister of legendary poet Rabindranath Tagore. She was a graduate of Calcutta University. 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. She was married to Chaudhary Ram Bhaj Datt, a journalist, and member of Arya Samaj and Congress.

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