Kolkata: Google on Saturday paid homage to Bengali poet-reformer and India’s first woman honours graduate Kamini Roy, on the 155th birth anniversary of the leading campaigner of voting rights for women.
Roy, one of the first girls in British India to attend school, was born on October 12, 1864 at Basanda village in then Bakergunj district of undivided Bengal — an area now part of neighbouring Bangladesh’s Barisal district.
She hailed from an elite Bengali Brahmo Samaj family, with her father Chandi Charan Sen, a judge and a writer, instilling in her a passion for reading and logical reasoning.
In 1886 Roy obtained the Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating from Bethune College with Sanskrit honours — the first Indian to achieve the feat, and was immediately appointed as a teacher there. She taught at Bethune College till 1894.
A feminist, Roy idolised Abala Bose and became a proponent of women’s rights activist, and campaigned with vigour for ensuring the fundamental right to vote for women in Bengal.
She was also a member of the Female Labour Investigation Commission (1922-23).
A noted poet, Roy started composing poems from an early age. Her first book of poems “Alo o Chhaya” was published in 1889. She also came up with a number of other books of children’s poems, sonnets, plays and essays, and presided over the literary section of the Bengal Literary Conference in 1930, besides working as vice president of the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad (1932-33)
In 1929, Calcutta University bestowed on her the prestigious Jagattarini Medal in recognition of her contribution to Bangla literature.
She passed away in 1933.