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USHA DEVI MITRA (1897 -1966)

Usha Devi Mitra was a writer, first in Bengali and later in Hindi. She was born in Jabalpur in 1897 to a well-to-do family. Her grandmother Binodini Devi had earned fame as a Bengali writer. Usha began writing in Bengali, but after marriage she moved to Nagpur and began to write in Hindi. She was a contemporary of Premchand. During her lifetime she published seven story collections and five novels. Her stories are sensitive, historical and emotional. The powerful style of her storytelling created a new wave, and she was awarded the Seksaria Puraskar for ‘Sandhya Purabi’. In her period publishing was yet to develop and women writers did not get equal opportunities with men. She was disappointed as society’s unwillingness to acknowledge her genius and exclaimed, ‘My writings should be burned on my pyre’. But today the Hindi literary world can never forget her contribution. She was also an active social worker. Having lost her husband at a young age she understood the problems women faced. To fight on various issues she established the Nari Mandal Samiti.
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