Sarojini Naidu and Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit being the few exceptions, there are very few women we know about who played a significant part in envisioning the country’s future.
We remember Dr B.R. Ambedkar as the Father of the Constitution, along with other male members whose name appears in the drafting of the Indian constitution which came into effect on January 26, 1950.
However, female members were working at the forefront and drafting the Indian constitution as well.
Let’s remember these 10 stalwarts who were reformists, suffragettes, politicians, freedom fighters and also the “Women Architects of The Indian Republic”.
1. Ammu Swaminathan
A political activist during the Indian Independence movement, Ammu Swaminathan served as a member of the Constituent Assembly of India in 1946. In 1954, she was also elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha from the state of Madras.
Along with women hardliners such as Annie Besant, Malathi Patwardhan and Mrs Dadabhoy, she formed the Women’s India Association in 1917 in Madras.
2. Dakshayani Velayudhan
An Indian Parliamentarian who is also one of the firsts in a lot of vocations from her community such as the first woman to wear upper body clothes, the first woman to be graduated, Dakshayani became one of the nine female members of the Constituent Assembly of India.
3. Begum Aizaz Rasul
The only Muslim woman in the Constituent Assembly of India who also drafted the constitution. In 1952, she was elected to the Rajya Sabha, and she also became a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 1969 to 1989.
4. Durgabai Deshmukh
Started her political activism at an early age of twelve years, as she participated in the Non-Co-operation movement along with Andhra Kesari T. Prakasam. Along with drafting the constitution of India, she participated in the Satyagraha movement in Madras city.
5. Hansa Jivraj Mehta
A writer, feminist, and independence activist, Hansa was elected to the Bombay Schools Committee in 1926 and also became the first president of All India Women’s Conference in 1945-46.
6. Kamla Chaudhary
Kamla joined the Indian National Congress during the 1930 Civil Disobedience movement; she was also kept in prison by the British authorities multiple times. After winning the 1962 Indian general election from Hapur, she became a member of the 3rd Lok Sabha term.
7. Leela Roy
A reformer and a radical leftist Indian politician, she joined the Congress in 1937. The very next year, she founded the Bengal Provincial Congress Women’s Organisation. She also became a member of the women’s subcommittee formed by Subhash Chandra Bose.
8. Malati Choudhary
An Indian Civil Rights and freedom activist, she was also a part of the Satyagraha movement, accompanied by her husband. In 1933, she formed Utkal Congress Samajwadi Karmi Sangh with her husband and associated herself with organisations such as Bajiraut Chhatravas to uplift the underprivileged section of the society.
9. Purnima Banerjee (1911 – 1951)
An Indian freedom fighter and a part of the constituent assembly, Purnima was the secretary of the Indian National Congress. Further, she took part in the Salt March and the Quit India Movement, and after that, she was imprisoned. She later became a part of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and the Constituent Assembly of India.
10. Rajkumari Amrit Kaur
The first Health Minister of India, she was also an Indian activist and politician, and a member of the Indian Constituent Assembly. Her contribution is substantial in the healthcare reforms in India and women’s rights in the country.
Founder of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), she has also set up the Tuberculosis Association of India, the Central Leprosy and Research Institute as well.