Kasturba Gandhi Birth Anniversary: Lesser-known facts you ought to know

Kasturba Gandhi was an Indian political activist born on 11 April 1869. She married Mohandas Gandhi a.k.a Mahatma Gandhi in 1883. She was involved in the Indian Independence movement in British-ruled India along with her husband and son. She was very influenced by her husband.

Lesser known facts about the brave freedom fighter:

  1. Kasturba Gandhi got married at the age of 14 to Mahatma Gandhi who was 13. She is a year elder to Mahatma Gandhi. It was an arranged marriage.

  2. Kasturba Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi were married for a total of 62 years.

  3. Kasturba and Mahatma Gandhi had four sons- Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas and Devdas who survived to adulthood. However, Kasturba never fully recovered from the death of her first child.

  4. Kasturba did not formally attend school. After getting married, Gandhi who was extremely enthusiastic about education and taught her how to read and write.

  5. Kasturba suffered from chronic bronchitis due to complications at birth. Her bronchitis was complicated due to pneumonia.

  6. Mahatma Gandhi took a vow of chastity in 1906. A few reports indicated that Kasturba felt that this opposed her role as a traditional Hindu wife.

  7. Gopalkrishan had once revealed that Kasturba's jewellery was sold off to put together the funds for Gandhi's law education in England.

  8. Kasturba Gandhi first involved herself with politics in South Africa in 1904 when she along with her husband and some others established the Phoenix Settlement near Durban.

  9. In 1913 she took part in protests against the ill-treatment of Indian immigrants in South Africa, for which she was arrested and on September 23, 1913 was sentenced to hard labour.

  10. While she was in prison in 1913, Kasturba Gandhi led other women in prayer and encouraged educated women to teach the uneducated women how to read and write.

  11. Kasturba Gandhi's health worsened when she fasted while Mahatma Gandhi was in prison. However, even with her deteriorating health, she continued being involved in the freedom struggle. She even took Mahatma Gandhi's place and addressed his followers when he was in jail.

  12. She was jailed several times for participating in Civil Disobedience campaigns. Once, she led the women of Rajkot in a non-violent freedom movement for which she was jailed and kept in solitary confinement for more than a month.

  13. Kasturba's health started declining and she too knew her time was up. She passed away on 22 February 1944 at 7:35 pm.

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