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Sarojini Naidu, who is fondly known as 'the Nightingale of India' was one of the prominent women who participated in the freedom struggle of India. She was born on 13 February 1879 in a Bengali Hindu Brahmin family in Hyderabad. Her father Aghorenath Chattopadhyay was the principal of the Nizam's College, Hyderabad and her mother Barada Sundari Devi Chattopadhyay was a Bengali poet. On her birth anniversary let us know some of the lesser-known facts about her.
1. Sarojini Naidu was the eldest among the eight children of Aghorenath Chattopadhyay and Barada Sundari Devi Chattopadhyay.
2. She completed her matriculation from the University of Madras but after that, she took a four-year-long break from her studies.
3. It was in the year 1895 when she received the opportunity to study at King's College, London from the H.E.H, Nizam's Charitable Trust which was founded by Nizam Mahbub Ali Khan. Later Sarojini Naidu also received the opportunity to study at the Girton College, Cambridge.
4. In the year 1899, she married Paidipati Govindarajulu Naidu while she was only 19 years old. Theirs was an inter-caste marriage and also inter-regional marriage. This is because Sarojini Naidu was a Bengali while Govindarajulu Naidu belonged to Telugu culture. The couple was blessed with five children. Paidipati Padmaja was the daughter of the couple who later became the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.
5. Sarojini Naidu joined the Indian Independence Movement in 1905, the time when India under British Raj was witnessing the partition of Bengal.
6. It is during that time when she met Rabindra Nath Tagore, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Mahatma Gandhi.
7. During the period 0f 1915 to 1918, Sarojini Naidu travelled across India for awakening Nationalism and delivering speeches on women empowerment and social welfare.
8. It was in the year 1917 when she founded the Women's Indian Association. The association was intended for working towards bringing social, political and economic equality and justice to women.
9. Later she went to England and returned back to India in 1920. This is when she joined the Satyagrah Movement that was led under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.
10. She became the president of the Indian National Congress in the year 1925 at the Annual Session of Indian National Congress held in Kanpur.
11. In 1930, she participated in the Dandi March, the famous Salt March led by Mahatma Gandhi. She was arrested for participating in the march along with Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Madan Mohan Malviya and many others.
12. She emerged as one of the most prominent leaders during the Civil Disobedience Movement and the Quit India Movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.
13. After India gained its independence from the British Raj, Sarojini Naidu was made the first governor of Uttar Pradesh. This made her the first women Governor of an Indian state.
14. She remained the Governor of Uttar Pradesh until her death in 1949.
15. She was barely 12 years old when she started writing. Maher Muneer, one of her plays which were written in the Persian language was appreciated by the Nawab of Hyderabad.
16. It was in the year 1905, when 'The Golden Threshold' her first book which was the collection of her poems was published. The poems were appreciated by many Indian Politicians including Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
17. She passed away owing to an cardiac arrest on 2 March 1949.
Even though she is not between us, but her life and works will continue to inspire generation after generation.