Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

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Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters

Mridula Sarabhai

Ahmedabad, Gujarat

August 23, 2021


Mridula Sarabhai was born in Ahmedabad in one of the most eminent families. She was the sister of Vikram Sarabhai, a nuclear scientist. Special classes were undertaken at the Sabarmati Ashram to train women satyagrahis. She was Secretary of the Videsh Kapada Bahishkar Samiti (Association for the Boycott of Foreign Cloth). This association was formed in Ahmedabad, with Sarladevi Sarabhai as the President. Daily processions were organized wherein women could be seen wearing saffron saris with pinned badges of volunteers, meetings were held, and pamphlets were distributed throughout the city. Women volunteers stood in front of shops selling foreign cloths and liquor, and convinced people not to buy these products.

Mridula Sarabhai's courage was reflected during her active participation in the communal riots – Ahmedabad (1941) and Meerut (1946). She went into the violence afflicted areas, reasoning with the rioters and helping restore peace and thereby, remove fear. This element of courage was commended by Mahatma Gandhi himself. She was a member of the newly formed Shanti Sevak Sangh (Peace Workers' Union). She was also nominated as one of the trustees for the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust (KGNMT) by Gandhiji. She took an active part in all the activities of the Trust. On the tenth KGNMT meeting at Sevagram, she invited Madam Aung San (the widow of first Prime Minister of Independent Burma). After partition, the mission to recover abducted women was led by her.