Abala Basu’s identity was not limited to the fact that she was the wife of Sir Jagadishchandra Bose. 'Lady' Abala Bose had a strong sense of who she was, something that modern Bengalis have not cared to remember. She travelled from Calcutta to Madras to study medicine one hundred and fifty years ago, in an era when girls were hardly ever seen in schools in our nation. She completed the inaugural LMS (Licentiate of Medicine and Surgery) course and became the first woman from Bengal to do so. Brahma Balika School rose to become one of the top institutions in Bengal, under her leadership. In order to support girls' education in Bengali towns and villages, she founded the Women's Education Society. She also founded the Vidyasagar Banibhavan, which aimed to empower impoverished and bereaved women. Her vigorous efforts resulted in the establishment of several educational facilities throughout Bengal's unbroken territory. Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, the most active segment of Bengali society at the time, accepted her as the country's first female president. The selfless homemaker-‘Grihalakshmi’ of Sir Jagdishchandra Bose was also a key figure in the women's liberation movement and Bengali Renaissance of the nineteenth century. Damayanti Dasgupta’s Abala Basu O Sei Samay is the memoir of the great lady that tries to capture the different shades of the persona of the great lady and the distinct members of the elite society during that time. Readers interested can order Bengali books online, from the website, www.anandapub.in of one of the greatest Bengali book publishers in Kolkata.


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