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Book Launch

Book chronicles path-breaking achievements by women in the past two centuries

Anupranana is a bilingual compilation of 25 stories of well-known and lesser-known women

Jaismita Alexander | Published 09.10.23, 05:27 PM
(L-R) Rita Bhimani, Prasad Ranjan Roy and Kumar Prakash Sen

(L-R) Rita Bhimani, Prasad Ranjan Roy and Kumar Prakash Sen

Photos: Brahmo Sammilan Samaj

'Anupranana - A Homage', an anthology of memoirs by different authors marking the evolution of women's status in the society in the last two centuries was released on the occasion of Raja Rammohan Roy's 190th death anniversary.

Prasadranjan Ray, president of the Brahmo Sammilan Samaj; Rita Bhimani, author and public relations expert; and Kumar Prakash Sen, retired teacher of Hare School; were present at the launch of the book on September 27.


The book is a bilingual compilation of 25 stories, which are remembrances of women from the last two centuries who were pathbreakers in their fields—some of them well-known and some lesser-known. The stories have been narrated by their grandchildren and by those who knew them through education and other fields.

The editors of the book published by Aksharbritta Prakashan—Aniruddha Rakshit and Sikha Chattopadhyay — were present on the occasion. Rakshit explained the significance of the book in today's perspective. “We all know about the great works of Raja Rammohan Roy, but there were many women who were inspired by him and they went ahead to change the lives of other women in their own way. The stories of these women remain untold and only their families know their tales. Our intention through this anthology was to let other people know about the great works.”

Bhimani, the chief guest of the event, herself comes from an illustrious Brahmo family. Her roots go back to Sivanath Shastri, a noted social reformer as well as a historian. “This anthology is a homage to our ladies of yesteryear who unknowingly left an indelible mark on the history of evolution of our society paving the path towards women's emancipation. Their individual struggle, sacrifice and achievements silently smoothened our journey to modern times.”

The book can be bought from Brahmo Sammilan Samaj in Bhowanipore

The book can be bought from Brahmo Sammilan Samaj in Bhowanipore

She also said that stories about Sivanath Shastri’s daughter, Hemlata Sarkar, who helmed the Maharani Girls School in Darjeeling more than 100 years ago have been shared by Bhimani’s aunt, Sevati Mitra, who was principal of Rani Birla Girls College and before being a Geography professor in the same college. Two of her students have also written about Mitra in the book.

“We would visit our great great grandmother in Darjeeling during the summer vacation. She would teach us songs and tell us about Brahmo Samaj. She was a reputable personality in Darjeeling and all of her great works have been mentioned in the book,” said Bhimani, who has also made a documentary on Raja Rammohan Roy.

One of the interesting essays in the book is about Jamini Sen, the first female student admitted to Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow in 1912, written by her niece Sikha Roy. Sen had acquired her Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery and Bachelor of Medicine from Calcutta Medical College in 1894 and passed out as a surgeon from Glasgow.

The book narrates the undaunting tales of women who carried forward the baton of women’s empowerment inspired by Rammohan.

The proceeds from the sales of the book will go towards the Rammohun Roy-David Hare Free Charitable Allopathic Clinic, said Rakshit, an editor of the book.

Last updated on 09.10.23, 05:33 PM

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