What's common between Bawarchi movie, Faridabad and World Crafts Council?

A collage of images of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, Map of Faridabad City, a photograph of cast of Bawarchi and an old black and white image of World Craft Council's Tokyo Conference Hall.


And if it is not already obvious from the image in this post, the answer is- Lt. Kamaladevi Chattopadhayay. Born on 3 April, 1903 (we are a day late!), Kamaladevi Ji was a social reformer, freedom fighter and a major force behind the post-freedom revival of Indian Handicrafts, Handlooms and Theatre. Institutions like National School of Drama, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Central Cottage Industries Emporium, and the Crafts Council of India couldn't have been possible without her vision.
Coming back to the question- Kamaladevi went against family and then social norms, to marry Harindranath Chattopadhyay, younger brother of Sarojini Naidu. He was a well known Indian English poet, a dramatist, a musician and a member of the 1st Lok Sabha from Vijayawada constituency. He was also an actor and was part of the cast of Bawarchi as the lovable grandfather. Fun Fact- Harindranath Ji wrote the famous "Maalgaadi" song that was sung by and picturised on Ashok Kumar. Another fun fact- Kamaladevi Ji herself acted is several movies.
Moving on, after partition Kamaladevi Chattopadhayay went on to set up the Indian Cooperative Union and through this Union she made plans for a township on cooperative lines. Jawahar Lal Nehru reluctantly gave her permission on the condition that she does not ask for state assistance, and after much struggle, the township of Faridabad was set up, on the outskirts of Delhi, rehabilitating over 50,000 refugees from the Northwest Frontier.
Lastly, World Crafts Council was founded in 1964 by Kamaladevi Chattopadhay and Aileen Osborn Webb to promote fellowship, foster economic development through income generating craft related activities, organize exchange programs, workshops, conferences, seminars, and exhibitions—and in general, to offer encouragement, help, and advice to the craftspersons of the world.
Isn't it amazing that so much was achieved in one life by a woman in the times when there was no concept of equal rights and yet when we today talk about feminism we forget the Icons like her. Even when we do remember, we overlook the amazing lives they lived and touched! A lot may look un-related but on this Earth, in our world everything is entangled and forms a chain. These chains are worth respecting, remembering and living upto.

Source: Wikipedia and interactions with the respected members of The Crafts Council of India


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published