Lakshmi Sahgal: Unwavering Commitment to Independence and Service
Lakshmi Sahgal, an Encouraging Story of Struggle, Courage and Sacrifice
The country has witnessed many noblemen and women’s courageous fight and sacrifice in the struggle for independence. One such individual who greatly contributed to the revolutionary movement for independence was Lakshmi Sahgal, a noble officer of the Indian National Army. Her contributions as the minister of Women in the Azad Hind government are noteworthy.
By profession, Lakshmi Sahgal was a doctor. Right from a very young age, she actively participated in various nationalistic revolutionary actions and programs.
Her motive behind undertaking medicine as a subject was not to become a rich, successful practitioner but to gain enough knowledge to serve the poor and the needy mass of then India, catering especially to the requirements of women. With her MBBS degree and a diploma in gynecology and obstetrics, she fulfilled her dream of serving people.
Lakshami Sahgal Early Life
The attitude and zeal of this freedom fighter come right from her background. Lakshmi Sahgal was born, and her original name was Lakshmi Swaminathan in the year 1914 in Madras. Her mother, A.V.Ammukutty, was an active social worker and took an active part in various nationalistic campaigns of independence and worked tirelessly for women’s rights. Lakshmi Sahgal’s father was a criminal lawyer who practiced in the Madras High Court.
Contributions Made by Lakshami Sahgal
Lakshami Sahgal had a great presence of mind and acted positively on what she believed was rightful. It was in 1942, when the British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese, when she was working, actively taking care of the wounded prisoners of the war. While catering to the medical needs of these prisoners, she came across many Indian prisoners who were planning to form a body of Indian liberation.
Next year 1943 Subhas Chandra Bose arrived in Singapore and underwent a series of meetings discussing the formation of a women’s regiment, the “Rani of Jhansi Regiment“, which would raise the position of women in the regiment. The same regiment will even fight for Indian independence. Lakshmi Sahgal wasted no time and immediately joined this regiment. Her identity became “Captain Lakshmi” and stayed with her lifelong.
Late-life of Lakshami Sahgal
During her later life, Lakshmi Sahgal married Colonel Prem Kumar Sehgal. Her passion for her medical profession kept her serving the many refugees who came to India post-partition. She joined the Communist Party of India or the CPIM at Rajya Sabha in 1971. She gave her medical assistance and organized relief camps during the Bangladesh crisis, and helped the Bangladeshi refugees who came. In 2002, these courageous women also became the leader of the All India Democratic Women’s Association. Her work and contribution gave her nomination in 2002 as a candidate in the presidential election, and she was the proud sole contender to the Late A.P.J Abdul Kalam.
A big honor and salutation to this wonderful woman who stood up against all the odds of her time serving for the country’s independence. A great combination of courage, boldness and modesty is a constant inspiring factor for courageous individuals till now. Her untiring contribution to this subcontinent is highly exceptional.
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