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RAMADEVI

........................Ramadevi took birth in Satyabhamapur of Cuttack district in a middle class Jamindar family. She was the daughter of Gopal Ballav Das the younger brother of ‘Utkal Gourab Madhusudhan Das’. She got married to Gopabandhu Choudhry also belonging to a Jamindar family of Jagatsinghpur in the year 1914. Her husband was a literate and was employed as a government employee holding a high post. Her husband was inspired by Gandhiji and left his job and joined in the struggle for independence in year 1921. Ramadevi also supported her husband and took part in the struggle.

........................She became the leader of Utkal Congress Committee in the year 1930. She went to jail many times between 1930 to 1942 during her participation in the struggle for independence. She was the sampadika of “Pradeshika Harijan Sevak Sangha”. She took the lead in the arranging for the ‘pad yatra’ starting from Puri to Bhadrakh along with Gandhiji in year 1934. She took part in “Bhudan Andolan” from 1952. She led a simple life. She used to wear simple cotton saree woven out by Indian weavers. She never used jewelry and costly sarees. She used to go from one village to other forming women groups. She did not follow the caste and creed. She also did not make any differences in the religion. She used to do picketing and revolted against the use of foreign goods and alcohol. She was also involved in nursing the patients and spreading education. She was in charge of the “Kasturba Gandhi Trust” of Orissa. During the India China war she alongwith some other women went to the border to look after the injured shoulders and were involved in nursing them.

........................She was staying in “Alaka Ashram” from 1928. After that she stayed in “Bari Ashram”. These two ashrams were key centers during the Independence revolution. Lastly she stayed in Bhudan office at Cuttack Thoria Sahi. Her son and daughter had done inter-caste marriage. Her husband died on 29th April 1958. She instead of getting demoralized sacrificed rest of her life for serving the country. She was the leader of ‘Sarbodaya Andolan’ held in Orissa. She was also the leader of ‘Nikhil Bharat Shanti Sena’. She was honored with Jamna Lal Bajaj award for her contribution in serving the country. She was always involved in service to the mankind in various works like floods, drought, epidemic, student agitation, communal agitation, helping the refugee’s etc. She was an idol of service and sacrifice. She sacrificed her whole life in serving the ‘dalits’ of the country.


Dated : 4/27/02

 



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