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Google celebrates Bengali poet & activist Kamini Roy's 155th birth anniversary with a doodle

Known for advocating women's rights, Roy helped advance feminism in the Indian subcontinent.

ET Online and Agencies|
Updated: Oct 12, 2019, 10.30 AM IST
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Agencies
​Kamini Roy worked to help Bengali women win the right to vote in 1926.​
Kamini Roy worked to help Bengali women win the right to vote in 1926.
NEW DELHI: Google honoured a leading Bengali poet and social worker, Kamini Roy, of her time with a creative doodle on her 155th birth anniversary.

The doodle, created by artist Helene Leroux, shows Roy holding a book of her poems titled, Koto Valobashi, as several women from her era stand by her side. Leroux had also created several early drafts of the doodle that was shared by the tech giant.

Born in a small village of Basanda in Bakerganj district of British India, which is now a part of Bangladesh, Roy grew up in a prominent family. She had two sibling, a brother who was the then elected Mayor of Calcutta, and a sister who was a physician for Nepal’s Royal Family.

Despite her interest in mathematics, Roy had an inclination towards poetry, and pursued writing at an early age.

​Kamini Roy won several accolades including Jagattarini Gold Meda​l.
Kamini Roy won several accolades including Jagattarini Gold Medal.

Defying all societal norms, Roy continued with her education after marriage. After joining Bethune School in 1883, she became one of the first girls to attend school in British India. Withing three years, she graduated with a degree in Sanskrit and earned her B.A. with honours. She became India's first woman to graduate with honours, and started teaching in the same college.

After her graduation, Roy published 'Alo O Chhaya', the first of her many books of poems, in 1889.

According to Google, Roy met Abala Bose, another student, in college who went on to be known for her social work in women’s education and alleviating the condition of widows. Friendship with Bose inspired her to advocate for women’s rights.

An early doodle draft by artist Helene Leroux.
An early doodle draft by artist Helene Leroux.

By forming organisations to champion causes she believed in, she helped advance feminism in the Indian subcontinent. She also worked to help Bengali women win the right to vote in 1926. Google mentioned a 1924 quote by the poet on its website, "Why should a woman be confined to home and denied her rightful place in society?”.

Roy won several accolades, one of which includes Jagattarini Gold Medal by Calcutta University in 1929. Later, she became the vice-president of the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad in 1932-33.

Roy breathed her last on 27 September 1933 while she was staying in Hazaribagh with her family.

Here’s to Kamini Roy, a trailblazer who did not accept limitations.


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