Despite being born into a well to do family, Yashodhara Dasappa chose to become a social activist and also participated in India’s freedom struggle. Being a follower of Gandhi, she also worked for the upliftment of Harijans. Though her contributions to the struggle were quite remarkable, not many people know about her role in the freedom movement.

Early Life: 

Yashodhara Dasappa was born in Bangalore on May 28, 1905,  her father K.H. Ramaiah was a known social worker. She studied at London Mission School and later enrolled herself in Queen Mary’s College located in Madras. She married H.C Dasappa, a well-known lawyer, and the couple had two sons and one daughter. After India’s independence, her husband went on to become a minister in the Jawaharlal Nehru government. Her son was also appointed as a Union Minister of State in the ministry of Charan Singh.

Role In Freedom Struggle: 

She took part in the Indian independence struggle as well as in several social movements such as Forest Satyagraha Movement, which took place in the 1930s in which more than 1200 people were imprisoned. As an active social worker and freedom fighter, she encouraged women to participate in the Satyagraha movement. On April 25, 1938, villagers in Vidurashwatha organised a Satyagraha during which police fired at them, killing around 35 people. Yashodhara Dasappa was sent to the jail after the incident.

Her home was a meeting point for underground Satyagrahi activity. She wrote and gave many aggressive speeches against the government when it decided to name a building after Hamilton, who was known for his brutality against the protesters agitating for freedom.

Also Read: Why Mahatma Gandhi called Accamma Cherian the ‘Jhansi Rani of Travancore’


Yashodhara Dasappa passed away in 1980. In 1972, she was given Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour by the government of India. She was the first woman to become a cabinet minister in Karnataka and made the headlines after quitting her portfolio to protest the lifting of Prohibition in 1969.

Also Read: How AV Kuttimalu Amma fought the British with her two-month-old daughter in arms

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:

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