Poet, educator and freedom fighter who left her mark on Indian literature

Mahadevi Varma, often referred to as the “Meera” of the modern world, was a poet, essayist, educator and freedom fighter. She is considered one of the pillars of the Chhayawadi era in Hindi literature. After witnessing India before and after independence, she transformed into a poet who worked for the wider society of the country.

Significantly, his novel Deepshikha influenced much of society. Not only her poetry and essays, but her social uplift initiatives and her work in developing the welfare of women have also been appreciated. His remarks on colonial rule often sparked the idea of ​​independence, inspiring millions.

Early life of Mahadevi Varma

She was born on March 26, 1907 to a Hindu Chitraguptavanshi Kayastha family in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh. Mahadevi’s father, Govind Prasad Varma, was a college teacher in Bhagalpur, and his mother, Hem Rani Devi, was a religious woman with immense interest in music.

Varma was admitted to a convent school, but due to her reluctant attitude, she was admitted to Crosthwaite Girls College in Allahabad. While studying there, she learned about the idea of ​​unity as students of different religions lived in the hostel. She used to write poems and essays in secret, but her roommate once exhibited her writings in front of everyone.

She and her friend, Subhadra, used to write and practice creative things by sitting under a tree at school while others played games on the ground. They both wrote several poems and managed to get a few published in a weekly magazine. The partnership continued until Subhadra graduated from Crosthwaite.

In a childhood biography, ‘My Childhood Days’, Varma noted that she was lucky to be born into a liberal family when a daughter was seen as a burden on the family. However, by the standards, she married at age nine. For many years Varma was married, but she chose to live an ascetic life, Wikipedia suggests.

The beginning of his career

She started her career as a teacher and became the principal of Prayag Mahila Vidyapeeth. She has greatly contributed to the development of the school. Her steps were considered revolutionary for the education of women during this period.

In 1923, she started writing for the leading women’s magazine “Chand”. Under the influence of Mahatama Gandhi, she entered the civil service and worked effortlessly in Jhansi alongside the freedom struggle. During her time as a poet, she published Nihar in 1930, Rashmi in 1933, Sandhyageet in 1939 and several other publications.

During the 1940s, she built her house in Umagarh village in Uttarakhand and named it Meera Temple. Until she lived in the city, all her time was devoted to the education and development of women. In present times, the house is known as the Sahitya Museum.

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Thelma J. Longworth