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

Unsung Heroes Detail

Unsung Heroes Detail

Demathi Dei

Nuapada, Odisha

August 05, 2022

Dei Dei’s vigour in encountering with armed British officials and forcing them to retreat would have faded from public memory, but for her personal interview with P Sainath, a journalist her valour was known outside the world. Nothing is known about her exact date or year of birth but as per the report published about her, she was about 16 years old in 1930. Her father Kartik Sabar was leading a protest movement against the British Raj during the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930 in his village Saliha where he organized a protest meeting. But he was fired by a British official with the gun and a bullet pierced his leg causing him to bleed profusely. When this news came to 16-year-old Dei she with lathi in her hand ran to the spot and attacked the officials along with her forty women friends which forced the officer in charge and his troop to retreat. Later her house was destroyed and crop burnt. Kartik was also arrested and sentenced to two years imprisonment in Raipur jail.

Dei’s courage and valour though was appreciated by the government which has been recorded in a certificate to her, she however was deprived of her pension. Remaining in abject poverty she died at the age of around 90 in 2002.