Tara Rani Srivastava is one of the unsung heroes of India’s freedom struggle who was undeterred even after she saw her husband being shot at by the police during a protest. She continued to lead the crowd while holding the tricolour high and did not let personal loss come in way of her duty towards the nation.

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Tara Rani was born in Saran near Patna. At a very early age, she got married to a freedom fighter named Phulendu Babu and actively participated in protest marches against the British regime. At a time when women were rarely allowed to step out of their homes, Tara gathered like-minded women to carry out demonstrations during the Quit India Movement. According to Bharti Thakur’s book Women In Gandhi’s Mass Movements, Phulendu gathered men and women of the village towards Siwan police station. In response to Gandhiji’s call, the protesters were marching to hoist the tricolour on the roof of the police station.

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When the crowd refused to obey, the police resorted to lathi-charge and later opened fire on the crowd. Phulendu Babu was shot at and fell on the ground. Tara Rani bandaged her husband’s wounds and marched towards the police station. When she returned, she found that Phulendu Babu had succumbed to the injuries. But she remained calm even during the funeral ceremony and became an inspiration to the women fighting for India’s freedom.

As India celebrates 70 years of independence, we bring you stories of women who were part of the Indian Independence Struggle. You might have heard about some of them but most do not find a mention in our history books or popular memory. These were ordinary women from all walks of life who managed to make extraordinary contributions to the cause of freedom.

This series is our tribute to these women and their exemplary work. We bring you 70 stories of courage and valour over the next one week leading up to 15th August 2017. Write to us, if you have any names to add to this list. Email: inuthsocial@indianexpress.com

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