Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rani Rasmani

Rani Rasmani, (1793-1861) philanthropist and a religious activist. Born in a humble peasant family, Rani Rasmani was married to wealthy Rajchandra Marh.
Widowed at the age of forty-three, Rasmani continued to use the family wealth for remarkable feats of planned social works as well as charity. Her most considerable benefaction, the DAKSHINESWAR TEMPLE, was an instance of social reform no less than piety, for she was of low caste and the Brahmins had opposed the foundation of the temple. She fought for the cause of the poor fishermen and won for them the right to fish in the Ganges, and in stopping certain steamer services to that end she spent a lot of money.
Rasmani commanded vast estates in the city, including several prominent markets such as Jan Bazar, Rasmani Bazar and Jadu Babu's Bazar. The last mentioned bazar was named after her grandson. Her title of 'Rani', however, was not derived from her rank or property: it was simply the name by which her mother fondly called her in her childhood.
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