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  Rani Rashmoni  

Rani Rashmoni of JanBazar, Kolkata was a woman of great strength in the mid-nineteenth century, amidst the male dominated society. Born in 28th Sept. 1793, the Bengali year,1211. Rashmoni at a very tender age of 11 was married to Babu Rajchandra Das of JanBazar. When she gained maturity and came to live with her in-laws and husband,

 
 

the greatest possible tragedy hit her. Her husband passed away leaving her all alone.

 
 

Though initially numb, Rashmoni was quick to recover from the shock and soon took charge of the family business and drove away the vultures hovering around. With the help of her son-in-law Mathur babu, who was married to her third and youngest daughter, Karunamoyi, she not only consolidated the family business but also became a champion for the people. The responsibility of administration the zamindari and commerce after her husband's bereavement brought out her managerial traits and supervisory skills.

The Rani was an autonomist in her viewpoint and stood by what she measured reasonable and just. Her daring confrontations with the British East India Company exemplifies her courage and strength.

 
 

Rani Rashmoni also had to her glory other great humanitarian works. The construction of a street from Subarnarekha river to Pari for the pilgrims;building of Babughat, Ahirtola Ghat and Nimtola Ghat for the bathers in the Ganges and generous charity to the majestic Library (now National Library) and Hindu College (now Presidency College) are a some exemplars of her generous nature.

 
 

Her spiritual inclination led her to establish the renowned temple on the banks of the Ganges at Dakshineswar in the North 24 Parganas. She set up a new bathing ghat in Hoogli and called it Babu Ghat after her late husband. She took a bold step to help the fishermen thriving on Hoogli waters, whose livelihood was hampered by the speeding British steamers. Rashmoni blocked the river traffic by iron chains and did not remove it until her demands were met.

 
 

However, her greatest contribution was the building of the Dakkhinshwar Kali temple. She patronized Shri Ramkrishna Paramhangsha as the guardian of the Dakkhineshwar temple. She held high the idealism of Hinduism grew spritually. Her outstanding social work and philanthropic nature were notable aspects behind a great soul for which people started calling her Rani or the queen.

 
 

Rani Rashmoni passed away on 19th February; 1861. As in the precedent, the enormous achievements of her life will carry on motivating many a generation to approach. The Department of Post passed out a postage stamp to memorialize the bicentennial of this brave and courageous Queen.

 
     
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