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Pritilata Waddedar

(1911 – 1932) – (West Bengal)

Pritilata Waddedar (Aged 21), born on May 5, 1911, in Dhalghat, Bangladesh, came from a middle-class family in Chittagong, which was then a part of Undivided India. She excelled in her academic pursuits, earning several awards and scholarships after completing her education in Chittagong and Dhaka. She then attended Bethune College in Kolkata, where she graduated with distinction in philosophy and became a school teacher.

However, her active participation in the Indian freedom struggle took precedence over her academic interests. During her student days, she joined semi-revolutionary groups spearheaded by women and became a member of Deepali Sangha, a rebel organization established by Leela Nag that provided combat training to women.

While studying at Bethune College, Calcutta, Pritilata came in contact with revolutionaries like Kalpana Dutta and Nalini Pal and worked under the leadership of Surya Sen, an influential Indian independence leader. Sen planned an attack on the Pahartali European Club in Chittagong, a symbol of British supremacy. Pritilata led the attack along with fellow revolutionaries, and a fierce gun battle ensued on September 24, 1932, in Chattogram, Bangladesh. She was shot in the leg and, realizing her imminent arrest, sacrificed her life for the Motherland by consuming a cyanide capsule from her pocket. She was only 21 years old at the time of her death but had already made significant contributions to the cause of the nation.