All about Kamini Roy, her Bethune College, Which began as 'Hindu Female School'
| IOP Desk - 12 Oct 2019

Trending on Google #KaminiRoy

  • Google on Saturday honoured the great Bengali poet and women rights activist Kamini Roy on her 155th birth anniversary.
  • Kamini Roy, the great Bengali poet, was the first woman to graduate with honours in British India. Her contribution to social reformation and women empowerment is beyond fascination.
  • She was not just a great poet but an educator as well and was the first woman to graduate with honours in the history of India.

By Onkareshwar Pandey

New Delhi, Oct 12, 2019: Kamini Roy is Trending on Google. Today is her 155th birth anniversary. Thanks, Google for reminding me about her. People across India, Bangladesh and other Asian Countries including Gulf are searching on Google about Kamini Roy.

Her name started trending on Google on Saturday immediately after Google doodle reminded of Kamini Roy, the great Bengali poet, a strong influential woman and women rights activist Kamini Roy on her 155th birth anniversary.

Here is all about Kamini Roy:

Born in Basanda Village of Bakerkunj district of erstwhile Bengal Presidency, now Bangladesh on October 12, 1864, Kamini Roy, the great Bengali poet, was the first woman to graduate with honours in British India. Her contribution to social reformation and women empowerment is beyond fascination.

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.

Kamini Roy took the entrance exam to Bethune College in 1880 and cleared it. Although, she came from a progressive family, it was not easy for her to continue her education. Despite having many obstacles, Kamini graduated from Bethune College in 1886 and became the first Indian woman honours graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Sanskrit.

Bethune College, where Kamini Roy studied, is the oldest women's college in Asia, located in Kolkata, India, and affiliated to the University of Calcutta. The college was founded as the Calcutta Female School in 1849 by John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune, with the financial support of Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee.

Many people might have forgotten that the present Bethune College was started as the Hindu Female School. The name "Hindu Female School" is inscribed on the copper-plate placed in the stone and on the ceremonial silver trowel made for the occasion, when it was established in 1849.

The school started in Mukherjee's home in Baitakkhana, with 21 girls enrolled. The following year, enrolment rose to 80. Support for the school waned after Bethune's death in August 1951.

The government took it over in 1856, renaming it Bethune School after its founder in 1862–63. In 1879 it was developed into Bethune College, the first women's college in India.

Bethune College was in news in 2019 for adding Humanity column in the place of religion in its undergraduate application form which is a measure first undertaken by any college in india.

Prof.(Dr.) Mamata Ray (Chaudhuri), is the Principal of this College at present. I think, she will surely do something to keep the memories of Kamini Roy alive for ever.

Kamini Roy was a strong woman who supported women empowerment and feminism. While in college, she took an active part in the Elbert Bill agitation.

After graduation, Kamini became a teacher at Bethune.

In 1894, Kamini married Kedarnath Roy, in the age of 30,  and had two children with him. She then devoted her life to her children, whom she referred to as ‘my living poems’.

She published her first book of poems named “Alo O Chhaya“, in 1889.

In 1921, she joined Naari Samaj and raised her voice against atrocities on women, and later she became a member of the Female labour Investigation Committee.

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.

Roy was president of Bangla Literature Summit (1930) and vice-president of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad in 1932-33

Kamini not just helped advance feminism but also formed organization for the causes she believed in. She always aggressively emphasized on women’s education. She believed that it was indispensable for girls and women to be educated to understand their position in society.

Roy broke many stereotypes with her profound thoughts and strong voice.

Many of Kamini Roy’s quotes find absolute relevance even in today’s society such as:

“Why should a woman be confined to the home and denied her rightful place in society?”.

 “The male desire to rule is the primary, if not the only, stumbling block to women’s enlightenment… They are extremely suspicious of women’s emancipation. Why? The same old fear—‘Lest they become like us’.”

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Kamini Roy was a great poet. She thoroughly encouraged girls and women to pen down their thoughts. Some of her notable contribution to Bengali literature are “Pundorik”, “Dwip O Dhup”, “Jibon Pathey”, “Pauraniki”, “Gunjan”, “Nirmalya”, “Mallya O Nirmalya”, “Ashoka Sangeet”, and “Alo O Chaya”.

She was not just a great poet but an educator as well and was the first woman to graduate with honours in the history of India.

On September 27, 1933, Roy left for the heavenly abode while she was staying in Hazirabagh. However, she is still a major inspiration to millions of men and women in India and Bangladesh. She ignited the hope which we are still carrying with us.

Thanks to Google again for honouring Kamini Roy and females of Indian subcontinent.

Image Credit: Google Doodle / Wikipedia / 

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INDIAN OBSERVER POST (IOP) is a Class, Creative, and Constructive News platform which publishes ONLY exclusive and Special News / Views / Interviews / Research Articles / Analysis / Columns / Features and Opinions on the national and international issues, politics, security, energy, innovation, infrastructure, rural, health, education, women, and entertainment. Email – editor@indianobserverpost.com


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(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI. http://bit.ly/2mh7hih Email - SMS- 9910150119)


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