Today marks the 119th birth anniversary of Vijay Laxmi Pandit, the powerful leader who went on to become the first woman in the pre-independent India to went on to hold a cabinet portfolio. She held the local self-government and public health at the age of just 37.
Sister of Jawaharlal Nehru – Vijay Lakshmi was born in Allahabad, in the then North-Western Provinces on August 18, 1900.
On this day we bring you some facts about her.
- Vijay Lakshmi was the daughter of Motilal Nehru and Swaruprani Thussu and sister of Jawaharlal Nehru – three-time Prime Minister of India.
- In 1921 she tied knots with Ranjit Sitaram Pandit and changed her name to Vijay Lakshmi Pandit.
- Vijay Laxmi was arrested and imprisoned thrice by the British between years 1932 and 1943.
- In 1937, she was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces, a post from which she thereafter in 1939 as a form of protest against British in World War II.
- Pandit later in 1943, became the President of the All-India Women’s Conference and remained so till 1943.
- 10 years later, she became the first woman ever to be elected president of the UN General Assembly.
- Pandit served as the governor of Maharashtra (1962 to 1964) and was the member of the Lok Sabha from 1964 to1968.
- Pandit was the member of AMU Executive Council. She was an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford.
- Pandit also represented India at the United Nations Human Rights Commission in 1978.