Hansa Jivraj Mehta
(1897 – 1995) – (Gujarart)
Hansa Jivraj Mehta (Aged 98) born on July 3, 1897, was an Indian reformist, social activist, educator, feminist, independence activist, and writer. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy in 1918 and later studied journalism and sociology in England. She was married to Jivraj Narayan Mehta, an eminent physician and administrator who was the first Chief Minister of Gujarat. In 1918, she met Sarojini Naidu and Mahatma Gandhi in 1922.
Hansa Mehta actively participated in the Indian freedom movement and organized the picketing of shops selling foreign clothes and liquor, in line with Gandhi’s advice. She was even arrested and sent to jail by the British along with her husband in 1932. Later, she was elected to the Bombay Legislative Council.
After independence, Hansa Mehta was one of the 15 women who were part of the constituent assembly that drafted the Indian Constitution. She was a member of the Advisory Committee and Sub Committee on Fundamental Rights, and advocated for equality and justice for women in India. In 1926, she was elected to the Bombay Schools Committee and became the president of the All India Women’s Conference in 1945-46. Hansa represented India on the Nuclear Sub-Committee on the status of women in 1946. She later became the vice-chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in 1950 and a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO. She passed away by 4 April 1995.