Indian Women Freedom Fighters: Usha Mehta

  • Usha (1920 - 2000) was a well known Gandhian and freedom fighter of India.
  • Usha was born in Saras village in Surat,Gujarat.
  • She started her freedom struggle at the age of eight by participating in a protest march against the Simon Commission in 1928.
  • She was most remembered for operating a secret radio channel for Congress called Congress Radio,which functioned during Quit India Movement of 1942.
  • On August 9, 1942,a time when almost the entire Congress leadership was in prison,she courageously hoisted the tricolor flag at Gawalia Tank Ground, which was later renamed as the "August Kranti Maidan."
  • On August 14, 1942, she and her close associates began the Secret Congress Radio, a clandestine radio station.
  • The first broadcasted voice was her - “This is the Congress radio calling on 42.34 meters from somewhere in India.”
  • On November 12, 1942 she was arrested and later imprisoned.
  • In March 1946,she was the first political prisoner to be released in Bombay, at orders of Morarji Desai,the then home minister in the interim government of India.
  • In 1998, the Government of India conferred on her Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of Republic of India.