She was born on the February 2, 1889 in Lucknow to a princely family of Kapurthala, a part of undivided India. She was the first Indian woman to hold the position of cabinet minister. Well, we are talking about the well known freedom fighter Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. In this article, we will present you with the biography of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, who was an eminent Gandhian and a great social reformer.
Amrit Kaur gave away all the worldly pleasures and focused her
attention on serving the society. Throughout the freedom struggle of
India, she worked in close association with other freedom fighters.
After independence, she became the health minister of India. She was
actively involved in activities undertaken for the welfare of society.
To know the complete life history of Rajkumari Amritkaur, read on.
She came from a royal family background. She was the only daughter of
her parents, Raja Harnam Singh and Rani Harnam Singh. She had seven brothers.
She did her schooling from England at the school at Sherborne, Dorsetshire.
She graduated from Oxford University. She was a fabulous tennis player.
She even won a number of prizes for her excellent performance.
Coming from such a noble family, she could have led a very luxurious life.
But, when she came to India, she left all her comforts and got involved
in the social welfare activities. She was instrumental in the India's
Independence Movement and played a vital role as a social reformer.
Raja Harnam Singh was a very pious and pure hearted person, who was
frequently visited by prominent leaders of the Indian National Congress
party like Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Amritkaur started developing interest
in the freedom struggle and also became more aware about the activities
that are undertaken by the freedom fighters. She was highly inspired by
The ruthless killings that took place in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
of 1919 motivated her to join the freedom struggle. Eventually, she
worked together with Mahatma Gandhi. She went far away from materialist
life and began leading the life of an ascetic. She came to live in
Mahatma Gandhi's Ashram in the year 1934. She also raised her voice
against inhuman acts like ill treatment of Harijans.
As a Gandhian
She became an active member of Indian National Congress. She was
involved in almost all the activities and movements that were launched
by Gandhiji for the wellbeing of people. She became one of the most
dedicated disciples of Mahatma Gandhi. She sincerely followed the
teachings and principles of Bapu. This explains the reason why she was
also addressed as a Gandhian. During the Dandi March, she was along with
Gandhiji. It is during this movement that, she was imprisoned by the
British Raj authorities.
After the Independence of India, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur joined the Jawaharlal
Nehru's first Cabinet. She was the first woman to hold a cabinet position.
She was made the incharge of Ministry of Health. She was the only Christian
in the cabinet of India. In the year 1950, she was elected for the post
of President of the World Health Assembly.
She played a pivotal role in the task of conceptualizing and laying the
foundation for the establishment of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in
New Delhi. For this, she secured aid from different countries like New
Zealand, West Germany etc. She also provided assistance to a rehabilitation
centre. She and her brother even donated their ancestral property that
was made the holiday home for the staff of the institute.
She served as the Chairperson of the Indian Red Cross society for a
long period of fourteen years. She made an immense contribution towards
the development of the tribal groups of India. She held the position of
health minister till 1957. Thereafter, she took retirement from the
ministerial activities, but still remained a part of the Rajya Sabha.
Till she was alive, she held the presidency position of AIMS and the
Tuberculosis Association. She also served as the chairperson of St.
John's Ambulance Corps. This great soul departed for heaven on the 2nd
October in the year 1964.