Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav: Remembering Vanmala Desai
New Delhi, July 04: India's independence movement was a series of sacrifices by thousands of freedom fighters. Vanmala Desai, is definitely among the unsung heroes who played a crucial role in India's freedom struggle.
Vanmala was born on 20th September 1922 in Ahmedabad to Narharibhai Parikh and Manibahen Parikh. She grew up in the Gandhi Ashram.
Before matriculation, she took training as a volunteer for the Haripura Congress and organized classes to prepare volunteers in the Kheda district. After matriculation, she took admitted to the Kanya Gurukul in Dehradun.
Afterward, she learned Gujarati literature from Nagindas Parekh and Urdu from Ghulam Rasool Qureshi in the Ashram. In the meantime, she worked as a teacher at the Girls' school for Harijans in the Ashram. During the Individual Satyagraha in 1941 and the 'Quit India' movement in 1942, she was imprisoned four times.
She took notes from her father Narharibhai for 2-3 years when he was sick. After translating 'Rehmet-e-Alam'-the biography of Prophet Mohammed during her imprisonment in 1941, she wrote the book 'Amara Ba'- the story of Kasturba in 1945.
She prepared the abridged autobiography of Rajendra Prasad and 'The Satyagraha of South Africa' and translated the autobiography of Mirabehn into Gujarati. She also wrote 24 theme-based booklets namely 'Gandhi Parichay Pustika'. She was married to Mahendra Desai in 1949.