Lakshmi Sahgal, an Encouraging Story of Struggle, Courage and Sacrifice
In the struggle for the independence, the country has witnessed the courageous fight and sacrifice of many noble men and women. One such individual who has great contributions to the revolutionary movement for independence was Lakshmi Sahgal who also became 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 was an active participant in the 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 for serving the poor and the needy mass of the then India catering especially to the requirements of women. With her MBBS degree and a diploma in the field of gynaecology and obstetrics she fulfilled her dream to serve to people.
Her Early life: The attitude and zeal of this freedom fighter comes right from her background. Lakshmi Sahgal was born and her original name was Lakshami Swaminadhan in year 1914 in Madras. Her mother, A.V.Ammukutty was an active social worker and took active part in various nationalistic campaigns of independence and worked tireless for women’s rights. Lakshami Sahgal’s father was a criminal lawyer who practiced in the Madras High Court.
Contributions made by her: Lakshami Sahgal had a great presence of mind and acted positively on what she believed was rightful. It was in the year 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 Singapore and underwent a series of meetings discussing the formation of a women’s regiment, the “Rani of Jhansi Regiment” which will raise the position of women in the regiment. The same regiment will even fight for Indian independence. Lakshami Sahgal wasted no time and immediately joined this regiment. Her identity became “Captain Lakshmi” and it stayed with her lifelong.
Late life of Sahgal: During her later life Lakshmi Sahgal married Colonel Prem Kumar Sehgal. Her passion for her medical profession kept her on serving the many refugees who came to India post partition. She joined the Communist Party of India or the CPIM at Rajya Sabha during the year 1971. She gave her medical assistance and organised relief camps during Bangladesh crisis and helped the Bangladeshi refugees who came. It was in the year 2002, these courageous women also became the leader of the All India Democratic Women’s Association. Her work and contribution gave her nomination during the year 2002 as a candidate in the elections for the President ship and she was the proud sole contender to the Late A.P.J Abdul Kalam.
A big honour and salutation to this wonder women 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.