Knocksense Unwind| Meet Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Lucknow's revolutionist princess who founded AIIMS
Whether it's being independent India's first woman who held the portfolio of a Health Minister (and for 10 long years) or the princess who renounced all the worldly luxuries to join Mahatma Gandhi's national movement, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur's name still echoes in the hall of fame.
She also laid the foundation stone of the Indian Council of Child Welfare and was, undoubtedly, named as its first president. Besides that, she founded what is one of the most premium medical institutes in India today — All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) — in 1956.
While we celebrate India's 75th year of independence, we're here to remember all those whose sacrifices and accomplishments have transformed the country into the place it is!
A life worth remembering
Born on February 2, 1887, in Lucknow's Badshah Bagh, Kaur belonged to the Kapurthala Royal family. She completed her education from Oxford University and as she returned to India in 1918, she dedicated herself to serve the nation.
A social reformer at heart, Kaur was always fascinated by nationalism and sure enough, when Gandhi ji summoned all women to join the fredoom movement, she gave up everything and became a part of something bigger than herself.
She famously fought against social evils like child marriage, purdah and the devdasi system. A revolutionary feminist at heart, she always supported those who were marginalised. Hence, it wouldn't be surprising to know that the rajkumari played a significant role in building the All India Women’s Conference.
Talking about international achievements, the woman was the president of World Health Organization (WHO) assembly in 1950 and led the Indian delegation to WHO for four years.
In 2020, she was revered by TIME magazine under the 100 women of the year. According to TIME, the royalty who "decided her life’s mission was to help India break free from its colonial ties and oppressive societal norms” was recognised as the 'woman of 1947'. She also "helped build lasting democratic institutions", the magazine had added.
Kaur breathed her last at the age of 75, but not before she inspired generations to come by to stand up for their rights, to fight for what's worth it, and to believe there's nothing one cannot achieve.