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  • Writer's pictureMallika Dasgupta

Sushila Chain Trehan - A Voice for the Voiceless

The freedom struggle was a period of change for the Indian society. As people rose up to fight against the British, they let go of all their orthodox thoughts and misunderstandings. Women were given more important roles in the freedom struggle and there were many who worked for the betterment of society. One such “hero” is a woman who would travel to remote villages in Punjab and teach women to cook, clean and sew to make them more independent. Determined, courageous and resilient, she was Sushila Chain Trehan, an unsung hero, a woman for other women.

When Sushila was a child, her father was presiding over an open meeting as the leader of an Arya Samaj meeting in Pathankot. She was appalled when she saw the British police barge in and mercilessly beat people up to disrupt the meeting. This event inspired her to fight for the freedom of the country. At the age of 18, she met another freedom fighter named Shakuntala Azad, after which she left home to join other freedom fighters to fight against the capitalist system in society. She wanted to join the Kirti party but she was discouraged since she was a woman.

However, that did not deter her and she defied all odds, joined the Kirti party and even tolerated the lathi charges and the heavy blows delivered by the British police. Even after the country attained independence, she continued to fight for social injustices and worked for the development of society. She pioneered and became the change she wished to see. She founded the ‘Stree Sabha’ in Jalandhar. She played a major role in establishing three new schools in Punjab.

Sushila Chain Trehan was a voice for those silenced, providing educational opportunities to those deprived. She believed that knowledge and education was not something to be held in a vacuum but to be shared and spread and thereby, she left a legacy and her footprints in the sands of time.

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