02 Sep Bhandaru Acchamamba the first feminist
Womanist is feminist
Bhandaru Acchamamba (1874-1905)
Bhandaru Acchamamba the first feminist of the 19th century was born in 1874 in a small village named Penuganchiprolu in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. Her father was a Diwan (minister in the state government) and died early when Bhandaru Acchamamba was just 6 years old and mother was Gangamma Komarraju.
At the age of ten, she got married to her maternal uncle, Bhandaru Madhava Rao and at the age of seventeen, her family life stared with him. Her husband was unfavourable to her learning. However, after the death of her father, she took her younger brother (Komarraju Venkata Lakshmana Rao) under the care.
Bhandaru Acchamamba – The pioneer in the early stages of the women’s movement
She had collected knowledge in literature and women’s issue under her brother’s guidance and studied Telugu, English and Hindi classic. When her brother left for Nagpur for his further studies Bhandaru Acchamamba worked on her studies and learnt Bengali, Gujarati, and Sanskrit as well. She has been regarded as one of the early feminist historians in India. She wrote biographies of British and Telugu Women which opened the door for her future historians. In her stories, she reflected the social condition of women and women issues.
Family is not by blood but by heart
Bhandaru Acchamamba adopted five orphan kids providing them with basic needs and education after the death of her son and daughter. The loss of life is inconsolable but by changing the world for one child can Bhandaru Acchamamba brought herself peace and happiness.
Words were her inexhaustible source of magic
In 1901, with the help of her brother Acchamamba wrote the biography of 34 women and named it Abaala Saccharitra Ratnamala. Abaala Saccharitra Ratnamala is compiled of several inspirational stories that depicted the beauty, bravery, and conviction of 34 women. Her work reflected the social condition of her times and women’s issue.
She wrote several stories and essays on women’s issues, her popular work is listed below:
- Dhana Trayodasi
- Abaala Saccharitra Ratnamala
- Beeda kutumbam
Beeda Kutumbam is a story of a poor family and Satakam is a cycle of hundred poems. An article like Dampatula Prathama Kalahamu (The first dispute of a couple), Vidyaavantulagu Yuvatulakoka Vinnapamu (an appeal to the educated women) and Strividyaa Prabhaavan (The strength of women’s education) were published in the magazines Hindu Sundari and Saraswati.
Dhana Trayodasi is one of her famous works. It was published in Hindu Sundari In 1902, it was a story of a poor couple who did not have money to light up their house for Diwali celebration and did not buy any new clothes. The crux of the story was the husband tried to commit a crime for money while his wife curbed the plan.
In her lifetime she spread wisdom, life, and knowledge to women. She aimed to fetch women up from their issues and get them a new life. She left her spirit to slip away quietly, she smiled a soft smile from deep within, she was secured in her knowledge that this life had been worth after all. In her final moments, she saw her message magnified in the hearts of all the lives she had touched.