Captain Lakshmi Sehgal

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 29, 2022, 8:56

Born in a family of lawyers on the 24th of October 1914 in Chennai, Captain Laksmi Sehgal is one of the earliest women to fight for the independence of India. She is known as the iron-hearted lady due to her endless courage and fearlessness. Her journey of patriotism began at home as her mother was a member of Congress herself.

Captain Laksmi Sehgal Journey

After getting a degree in medicine from Madras Medical College, she went ahead to take up the career of a doctor in Singapore. During her Singapore days in 1940, she became more inclined towards the independence fight as she came in contact with various wounded prisoners of war. Their drive to join the Indian Liberation army also inspired her to participate in the Indian Independence League. But, it is her meeting in Singapore with the great Subhas Chandra Bose that brought the biggest change in her life. She listened to her heart and accepted the call of Netaji to participate in the fight against the British. At this point, courageousness of Lakshmi impressed Netaji, and he asked her to form the Rani Jhansi Regiment, an all-women Indian National Army Regiment. With almost 1500 women joining the regimen under the leadership of Lakshmi in their urge to fight for the independence of their country, Lakshmi Sehgal became Captain Lakshmi Sehgal.

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Milestones of Captain Laksmi Sehgal

  • During the march to Burma, Captain Lakshmi Sehgal was arrested by the British army in 1945, and she was kept under house arrest in the jungles in Burma till March 1946. Then she was sent back to India for trials. This led to the great Red Fort Trials in Delhi that revived and intensified the sentiments of nationalism and strengthened the Indian Independence Movement to end British colonial rule.
  • She met an Indian Army soldier, Prem Sehgal, a member of INA and married him in 1947. They settled in Kanpur. While in Kanpur, she continued to medical camps to assist the helpless refugees.
  • Later, in 1971, she joined the Communist Party and became a Rajya Sabha member. She continued organizing camps for Bangladeshi refugees in India. Her role during the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and Anti-Sikh Riot in 1984 were commendable. She always dedicated her service to the poor and injured and stood for what was right.
  • She also founded the All India Democratic Women's Association in 1981, along with other members.
  • She fought in Presidential Election in 2002, and she was honoured with Padma Vibhusan by President R.K.Narayanan.
  • She died at the age of 97 in Kanpur on the 23rd of July 2012. Her body was donated for medical research to Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College.

A freedom fighter, a social worker, a medical practitioner, and later an outstanding political leader, Captain Lakshmi Sehgal played all her roles with complete dedication and honesty. Her story of selfless service and courage will continue to be a source of inspiration for generations to come.

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FAQs on Captain Lakshmi Sehgal

Q.1. Why will we remember Captain Lakshmi Sehgal?

Captain Lakhsmi Sehgal was a woman of courage and vigour, doing all possible for her country and the poor. She was a doctor by profession, with an immense will to do her part in the Indian Independence Movement. She was named Captain after she led the foundation of the all-women Rani Jhansi Regiment under INA.

Q.2. Who formed the Rani Jhansi Regiment of INA?

Captain Lakshmi Sehgal formed the Rani Jhansi Regiment of INA.

Q.3. When did Captain Lakshmi Sehgal die?

She died in 2012 on the 23rd of July in Kanpur.

Q.4. Is Lakshmi Swaminathan and Captain Lakshmi Sehgal the same person.

Captain Lakhsmi Sehgal was born Lakshmi Swaminathan. She was the daughter of S.Swaminatan.