Pushpa Lata Das - a brave freedom fighter of Assam

Pushpa Lata Das, an eminent freedom fighter and social worker of Assam was born on 27th march 1915 in North Lakhimpur to Late Rameswar Saikia and Smt. Swarnalata Saikia of Jorhat. She was on independent nature and extrovert from her childhood and in the age of six, she joined the ‘Banar Sena’ to popularize the Khadi among the people and organized Chakra Sangha. Being inspired by her mother, she took pledge for freedom and never looked back ever since. On February 1930, she was expelled from school for being the Secretary of an organization called Mukti Sangha at the age of 14 and she along with her comrades protested against the death sentence that was given to Bhagat Singh.
In the year 1934, Pushpa Lata Das passed her matriculation examination as a private candidate and in order to complete her intermediate, she went to Banaras Hindu University and later enrolled with the Andhra University for her graduation. In the year 1938, she completed her masters in Political Science from Andhra University and later joined Earle Law College in Guwahati, where she was selected the secretary of the College Union. However, she could not complete her law as she was imprisoned for ‘Individual Satyagraha’. Possessing a strapping belief in the woman power and brave from childhood, she promoted Gandhiji's idea of Khadi and established Charkha Sangha. She was a great patriot, who dedicated her life towards the freedom struggle of India. Although her relatives were against, in the year 1942, she got married to Omeo Kumar Das, who was a social worker and a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and shifted to Tezpur from Guwahati.
She was a member of the Women Sub Committee of National Planning Committee and stayed in Mumbai from 1940 to 1942, when she got a chance to work with Mridula Sarabhai and Vijay Laxmi Pandit for the development of the nation. However, following her marriage, she came back to Assam and together with Jyoti Prasad Agarwala and few others formed a group for training as well as preparing the youth for the freedom movement. She organized the Shanti Bahini and Mrityu Bahini with her co workers in Tezpur and was supposed to lead the procession to unfold the National Flag in the compound of Gohpur Police Station; however, Kanaklata Barua took over the responsibility and was killed. It was Pushpa Lata Das, who firmly defied the plan of dragging Assam into the grouping system by Jawaharlal Nehru and with her speech, succeeded in getting an amendment moved by Shri Puruishottam Das Tandon.
In the year 1951, she was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha and remained as a member until 1961. In the year 1958, she was the member of the All India Congress Working Committee. She visited a number of East European countries as a member of Parliamentary delegation in the year 1959. She was also a member of Assam Legislative Assembly she was also associated with a number of other organizations like All India Khadi Board (Chairperson of Assam Branch), Central Social Welfare Board, Planning Committee of Congress (Women Section), East India Motion Pictures Censor Board among others. She was also the Chairperson of the Kasturba Memorial Trust, Assam Branch, State Bhudan and Gramdan Board. For her selfless contribution towards the freedom movement of India, she was awarded a Tampatra by the Indian Government, which she refused to accept. On 9th November, 2003, at the age of 88, Pushpa Lata Das left for her heavenly abode.
Pushpa Lata Das was a great woman, who contributed immensely towards the freedom movement of India and saved Assam from being annexed as a part of the erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. Every Assamese should be proud of this brave lady, who has served her motherland until her last breath.

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