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Hansa Jivraj Mehta (3 July 1897 – 4 April 1995) was a reformist, social activist, educator, independence activist, feminist and writer from India.


Early life


Hansa Mehta was born in a Nagar Brahmin family on 3 July 1897. She was a daughter of Manubhai Mehta, Dewan of Baroda State, and the granddaughter of Nandshankar Mehta, the author of the first Gujarati novel ''Karan Ghelo''. She graduated with Philosophy in 1918. She studied journalism and sociology in England. In 1918, she met Sarojini Naidu and later Mahatma Gandhi in 1922. She was married to Jivraj Narayan Mehta, an eminent physician and administrator.


Career





Politics, education and activism


Hansa Mehta organized the picketing of shops selling foreign clothes and liquor, and participated in other freedom movement activities in line with the advice of Mahatma Gandhi. She was even arrested and sent to jail by the British along with her husband in 1932. Later she was elected to Bombay Legislative Council. After independence, she was among 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. She advocated for equality and justice for women in India. Hansa was elected to Bombay Schools Committee in 1926 and became president of All India Women's Conference in 1945–46. In her presidential address at the All India Women's Conference convention held in Hyderabad, she proposed a Charter of Women's Rights. She held different posts in India from 1945 to 1960 - the vice-chancellor of SNDT Women's University, member of All India Secondary Board of Education, president of Inter University Board of India and vice-chancellor of Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, among others. Hansa represented India on the Nuclear Sub-Committee on the status of women in 1946. As the Indian delegate on the UN Human Rights Commission in 1947–48, she was responsible for changing the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from "all men are created equal" (Eleanor Roosevelt’s preferred phrase) to "all human beings", highlighting the need for gender equality. Hansa later went on to become the vice chairman of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations in 1950. She was also a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO.


Literary career


She wrote several children's books in Gujarati including ''Arunnu Adbhut Swapna'' (1934), ''Bablana Parakramo'' (1929), ''Balvartavali'' Part 1-2 (1926, 1929). She translated some books of ''Valmiki Ramayana'': Aranyakanda, Balakanda and Sundarakanda. She translated many English stories, including ''Gulliver's Travels''. She had also adapted some plays of Shakespeare. Her essays were collected and published as ''Ketlak Lekho'' (1978).


Bibliography


In Gujarati, Hindi and Tamil * ''Traṇa nāṭako''. (1926). Mumbaī : Haṃsā Mhetā * Mehta, Hansa; Swift, Jonathan. ''Goḷībāranī musāpharī''. Vaḍodarā : Bālajīvana Kāryālaya (1931) * ''Rukmiṇī''. (1933). Vaḍodarā : Ārya Sudhāraka Presa * ''Aruṇanuṃ adbhuta svapna''. (1934). Mumbaī : Haṃsā Mahetā ** Mehta, S. Haṅsa. (1950). ''Arunnanu adbhuta svapṅa''. Ahmedabad, India : Gujar Granth Ratna Karyalaya * ''Bāḷavārtāvali'' acchanal (1939). Mumbaī : Sola ejaṇṭa, Śishṭa Sāhitya Bhaṇḍāra * ''Himālaya svarūpa ane bījaṃ nāṭako''. Śishṭa. * Mehta, Hansa. ''Trana natako ane bijam'' hree plays and so on (1956). * Mehta, Hansa; Cimanalāla, Candravadana; Sitāṃśu, Yaśaścandra. ''Keṭalāka lekha''. Mumbaī : Phārbasa Gujarātī Sabhā (1977) * Mehta, Hansa; Collodi, Carlo. ''Bavlana prakramo'' rave featsRajkot : Pravin Rajkot (1993) * Mehta, Hansa. ''Ram Katha''. he story of Ram(1993). Delhi : National Book Trust. * Mehta, Hansa. ''Ayotiyin iḷavarasan''. (2004). Delhi : National Book Trust. In English * ''Post-war educational reconstruction: with special reference to women's education in India''. (----) Bombay : Pratibha * ''The Woman under the Hindu Law of Marriage & Succession''. (1944). p. 52, Bombay : Pratibha Publications. * Hansa, Mehta. (ed.) "Civil liberties". (1945). for the ''All-India Women's Conference'', Aundh : Aundh Pub. Trust, * ''Indian woman''. (1981). New Delhi : Butala

Translation

into English * King of Ujjainī; VIKRAMĀDITYA Haṃsā; Mehta, Hansa. ''The Adventures of King Vikrama''. (Selections from Ṣāmala Bhaṭa's Gujarati version of Siṃhāsana-batrīsī. With plates.) (1948). Bombay : Oxford University Press, pp.vii, 150. ** Mehta, Hansa; Shukla, V. K. ''Adventures of King Vikrama''. (1954) London : Oxford Univ. Press, * Sarma, D.S.; Mehta, Hansa. ''The prince of Ayodhya''. New Delhi : National Book Trust, India : Chief stockists in India, Thomson Press (India) (1974). * ''Une femme d'aujourd'hui: roman''. (1966). Paris : Albin Michel.

Awards

Hansa Mehta was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1959.

See also

* List of Gujarati-language writers

References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Mehta, Hansa Jivraj Category:Indian independence activists from Gujarat Category:Indian women educational theorists Category:1897 births Category:1995 deaths Category:Gujarati-language writers Category:Members of the Constituent Assembly of India Category:Recipients of the Padma Bhushan in social work Category:Prisoners and detainees of British India Category:People from Vadodara Category:Indian women's rights activists Category:Gujarati people Category:Gandhians Category:20th-century Indian educational theorists Category:Scientists from Gujarat Category:20th-century Indian women scientists Category:20th-century Indian scientists Category:Activists from Gujarat Category:Women educators from Chandigarh Category:Women Indian independence activists Category:20th-century Indian women politicians Category:20th-century Indian politicians Category:19th-century Indian women Category:Women educators from Gujarat Category:Indian feminists Category:Educators from Gujarat Category:Educators from Chandigarh Category:Indian translators Category:Indian children's writers Category:20th-century translators Category:20th-century women educators