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PERSONALITIES - Philanthropists

* 28 Sep 2021
Know the True Heroes.
Paying Homage to one of the greatest Nationalists & the Epitome of Women Empowerment, RANI RASHMONI, on her birth anniversary.
Rani Rashmoni was born on 28th September 1793 into a Kaivarta (fishermen) family in the present-day city of Halisahar in West Bengal. Her father who was a petty labourer, married her to a much older widower, Rajchandra Das,  a scion of a wealthy zamindar. Her husband got her involved in his business, & within a short span of time the duo amassed huge wealth.
Rashmoni was widowed in her 40s, & the burden of the business & zamindari fell on her, which she handled with great efficiency. Her humble origins also meant that she had great compassion for the poor & she donated huge sums to the poor. Several ghats for public bathing, excavation of the Beliaghata canal, pucca roads which linked various parts of the city, reservoirs, old age homes & charity kitchens were setup by her.
With time, she took up many other roles too. Rani Rashmoni persuaded families living in the Sunderbans involved in crime to give such activities, & helped them to build up fisheries that later turned into large rich bheris (fish ponds).
She was also a great patroness of the fishermen on the Hoogly river. When the livelihood of the fishermen was hampered by British steamships running up and down the Hoogly river, Rani took a large part of the Hoogly riverbank on lease, and granted the rights to fish to local fishermen. She not only stopped the British from imposing tax on poor fishermen fishing in the river Ganga, she also defied the British orders of not allowing Durga visarjan, forcing the British government to step back.
She made large donations to the the National Library, and the Presidency University. Her greatest contribution was the construction of the famous Dakshineswar Temple dedicated to devi Kali, which opened in 1855.
Rani Rashmoni died on 19th February 1861, but she will always be remembered as one of the greatest philanthropists of Bengal, & a woman who stood against the might of the British.
Source:, 28 Sep 2021