Mahadevi Varma Biography
(Indian Writer, Activist, and Leading Poet of the 'Chhayavad' Movement in Hindi)
Birthday: March 26, 1907 (Aries)
Born In: Farrukhabad, India
Mahadevi Varma was an Indian writer, women’s rights activist, freedom fighter, educator, and poet, best known for her contribution to the Chhayavad movement of Hindi literature. She was one of the four most prominent figures of the Chhayavad school, the other three being Suryakant Tripathi, Sumitranandan Pant, and Jaishankar Prasad. She became the first headmistress/principal of the ‘Allahabad (Prayag) Mahila Vidyapeeth,’ a Hindi-medium all-girl school, and later became its chancellor. Mahadevi’s works won her some of the most prestigious Indian literary awards and recognitions, such as the ‘Padma Bhushan,’ the ‘Sahitya Akademi Fellowship,’ and the ‘Padma Vibhushan.’ ‘Yama,’ her anthology of poems, won the ‘Jnanpith Award.’ A regular participant and organizer of “Kavi Sammelans,” Mahadevi was also a good friend of prominent Hindi author and poet Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, since they were schoolmates. Her poetry was known for its characteristic pathos and romanticism. Though married off at an early age, Mahadevi mostly stayed away from her husband, meeting him only occasionally. She died in Prayagraj (Allahabad) at the age of 80. Many of her works have been included in the Hindi school curriculum of India.