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Captain Lakshmi Sahgal – the Iron Lady

Courage runs in the veins of Indian women. From the times in history to the more concurrent times to that of the independence era, we find that women have played a huge role in empowering society and setting examples to other women and giving them the courage to face every battle victoriously. Today let us brace up with the story of one such woman whose tales of courage and bravery resonates in the heart of all Indians. Lakshmi Sahgal is the name. Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, probably one of the most prominent Indian freedom fighters who is often missed out from the list of glorification.

Born in Madras Presidency as Lakshmi Swaminathan, she was the daughter of two renowned personalities. Her father was a lawyer and her mother was a social activist. She had studied medicine at the Madras Medical College. She had a diploma in gynaecology and obstetrics. She even practised as a doctor in the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital of Chennai. In 1940 she left for Singapore and met the members of Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army. She was fascinated with their ideologies and functioning and wanted to join hands with them to help in the process of the freedom struggle of India.

Her life is intertwined around the freedom struggle and her identity as Captain Lakshmi lasted throughout her life. Her life changed after she met Subhas Chandra Bose in Singapore and heard that he was keen to join more and more women in his INA. She approached him on how she can be a part of it and was asked by him to lead the woman’s wing of the organization. She named it Rani of Jhansi regiment. In her later years, she joined the Communist Party of India   (Marxist) and was represented in Rajya Sabha. She had even contested a Presidential election against A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. She was even arrested for her freedom struggle activities. She is also the recipient of Padma Vibhushan. She was an iron lady India would be proud of for the upcoming centuries.

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