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Google created a doodle to pay tribute to Kamini Roy, a social reformer, poet, activist and India's first woman to graduate with honours. She was born in an elite Bengali Baidya family on 12 October 1864 in the Bakergunj district of Bengal Presidency, in British India.
During the time when girls were deprived of education and were married off at a very young age, Roy was determined to study and complete her education.
She joined Bethune School in the year 1883. In the year 1886, she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in the Sanskrit from the Bethune College of University Of Calcutta.
Kamini Roy started teaching from the same year she graduated and was fond of using her father's library. Inspired by her fellow learner Abala Bose who was herself known for her alleviating the condition of widows and encouraging women's education, Roy thought of advocating for the rights of women.
It is said that she was a feminist during the time when women's education was a taboo and women were supposed to stay within the four walls of their houses.
Roy believed the aim of women's education is to contribute to their all-round development. "The aim of women's education was to contribute to their all-round development and fulfilment of their potential," Roy was quoted saying this once at a girls' school in Calcutta by Bharati Ray, a politician.
Also read: The Famous Feminist Writers In India
Alo Chhaya, her collection of verses was published in the year 1889, following to which she wrote two more books. Her writings are considered to be quite elegant and simple. But after her marriage and motherhood, she gave up writing for a few years. In the year 1921, she became one of the leaders along with Kumudini Mitra (Basu) and Mrinalini Sen, of the Bangiya Nari Samaj, an organization formed to fight for woman's suffrage.
From 1922 to 1923, she served as a member of the Female Labour Investigation Commission. She made tireless efforts in helping the women gain the right to vote in the election. "Why should a woman be confined to the home and denied her rightful place in society?" wrote Kamini Roy in one of her books. It was in the year 1925, that The Bengal Legislative Council granted permission to women to exercise their votes for the first time in the 1926 Indian general election.
She was highly influenced by the work of the famous poet Rabindranath Tagore. Also, she was quite interested in Sanskrit literature. Later, she was honoured by Calcutta University with Jagattarini Gold Medal for her contribution to the field of literature.
In her later life, she moved to Hazaribagh only to live for some years. There she was often seen to discuss the literary and other topics with scholars like Mahesh Chandra Ghosh and Dhirendranath Choudhary. She left for her heavenly abode on 27 September 1933 while she was staying in Hazaribagh.