Lakshmi N. Menon

Lakshmi N. Menon (1897-1994) was one of the founder members of the All India Women's Conference, serving for some time as its secretary and president and also as editor of its magazine, Roshni. She was a good orator who gripped the audience attention. She worked in the Ministry of External Affairs as Parliamentary Secretary from 1952 to 1957, and served as Deputy Minister from 1957 to 1962 under Nehru’s Cabinet and Minister of State to 1967. She started her teaching career at Madras and played an important role in establishing the AllIndian Women’s Conference.

She was the chairperson of a number of UN Commissions and whole heartedly worked for raising the status of women in the society. Lakshmi Menon was behind the concept of Mother Day as she wanted to appreciate the works of mothers in all homes. She provided free education to all children. She was an active member of All India Women’s Conference and later became its president. Retiring from political service in 1967, she turned to social work and also to writing, authoring a book on Indian women for the Oxford Pamphlets on Indian Affairs series published by Oxford University Press. She helped to establish the Federation of University Women in India. She became Chairman of the Kasturba Gandhi Nation Memorial Trust. In recognition of her services, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1957.

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