Kulsum Sayani, who fought against social evils while participating in the Indian National Movement,was born on 21 October, 1900 in Gujarat.
She met Mahatma Gandhi in 1917 along with her father. Since then she followed the path shown by Gandhi. She fought and for social reforms during the Indian National Movement.
She married another famous freedom fighter Dr. Jaan Mohamad Sayani. As she got support from her husband, she took very active part in various activities of the Indian Freedom Struggle.
She started teaching the illiterates and took membership in the Charkha Class. She also played a vital role in the ‘Jan Jagaran’ programmes of Indian National Congress to create awareness among the people on social evils. Sayani’s activities covered Mumbai city and its suburbs.
The leaders of the Muslim League could not digest her activities. They thought that she was attracting the poor towards Indian National Congress and decided to conduct parallel programmes to counter her efforts. Despite in this kind of hostile environment, she did not step back, but further intensified her activities.
She started an Urdu fortnightly by name ‘Rehbur’ (Helper) for the use of adult education readers. She extensively traveled to various countries and took part in several International conferences the representative of India.
She wrote a number of books touching upon the subjects like adult education programmes, role of the women in the Indian freedom movement, social service, Indo-Pak friendship etc.
She penned books in Hindi language like ‘Proudha Siksha mein Mere Anubhav’, ‘Bharat-Pak Maitri – Mere Prayatn’, ‘Bharateeya Swatantra Sangram mein Mahilaon ki Bhumika’, ‘Bharat mein Proudh Siksha’etc. The Government of India, recognizing the efforts of Sayani, honoured her with ‘Padmasri’ in 1959. And in 1969 with the Nehru Literacy Award by the President of India.
Kulsum Sayani, who worked for the overall development of the women and society, passed away on 27 May, 1987.
(From : THE IMMORTALS an Album of 155 Muslim Freedom Fighters authored by Syed Naseer Ahamed, published in 2014, Mobile : 9440241727.)