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Here is a dare devil women, who sacrificed her time and money even life for the sake of Independence to India and liberty to Adults from the darkness of illiteracy until she breathed her last on 27th May 1987. She fought against social evils while participating in the Indian National Movement and was born on 21 October 1900 in Gujarat. She met Mahatma Gandhi in 1917 along with her father. Since then she followed the path shown by Gandhi. She fought and for social reforms.

She married another famous freedom fighter Dr. Jaan Mohamad. As she got support from her husband, she took very active part in various activities of the Indian Freedom Struggle. She started teaching the illiterates and took membership in the Charkha Class. She also played a vital role in the 'Jan Jagaran' programmes of Indian National Congress to create awareness among the people on social evils. Her activities covered Bombay city and its suburbs. The leaders of the Muslim League thought that she was attracting the poor towards Indian National Congress and decided to conduct parallel programmes to counter her efforts. Despite in this kind of hostile environment, she did not step back, but further intensified her activities.

She started an Urdu fortnightly by name 'Rahbar' (Helper) for the use of adult education readers. She extensively traveled to various countries and took part in several International conferences the representative of India. She wrote a number of books touching upon the subjects like adult education programmes, role of the women in the Indian freedom movement, social service, Indo-Pak friendship etc. She penned books in Hindi language like 'Proudha Siksha mein Mere Anubhav', 'Bharat-Pak Maitri - Mere Prayatn', 'Bharateeya Swatantra Sangram mein Mahilaon ki Bhumika', 'Bharat mein Proudh Siksha'etc. The Government of India, recognizing her efforts, honoured her with 'Padmashree' in 1959. And in 1969 with the Nehru Literacy Award by the President of India. She worked for the overall development of the women and society and passed away on 27 May, 1987. [Text: Immortals by Syed Naseer Ahamed]                 Answer at the bottom of the page.

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Answer to the WORD Jumble: PADMASHREE KULSUM SAYANI  

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 June 2015 on page no. 22

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