CM to inaugurate Sister Nivedita's house on October 23
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the restored house of Sister Nivedita on October 23 to commemorate her sesquicentennial birth anniversary.
Nivedita, then Margaret Elizabeth Noble, was born on October 28, 1867, at Dungannon in Ireland.
It was at 16 A Bosepara Lane in Bagbazar that Sister Nivedita opened her school for girls coming from middle-class families in November 1898 in presence of Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda.
The state government acquired the two-storeyed building and handed it over to the Sarada Math following the initiative taken by Mamata Banerjee. The Chief Minister, along with Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, had met the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and urged him to provide financial assistance.
Finally, the state government gave compensation to the family that had owned the house and suitably rehabilitated its members.
It may be mentioned that Banerjee will attend a function in London in November to celebrate the 150th
birth anniversary of Sister Nivedita.
A Blue Plaque will be installed at the house in Wimbledon where the Sister lived.
The century-old two-storeyed building was in shambles when the state government acquired it and handed it to the Sarada Math. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) declared it as a Grade I heritage building. It took nearly three years to restore the building to its original position.
The plaster was removed and small-sized bricks which were used in those days have been used. Sri Sarada Math proposes to set up a museum where many articles used by the Sister will be exhibited.
Sister Nivedita had written the following lines about the building: "My house in my eyes charming with its two courtyards, its limited second story and its quaintly terraced roofs built at five different levels, it is a rambling specimen of the true Hindu style of building."
The building is a historical place. It was here that Sister Nivedita set up her school and took the trouble of visiting every household requesting parents to send their daughters there.
Nivedita stayed in the house and carried out massive social work when the Plague broke out in Bagbazar and its neighbourhood.
Swami Vivekananda and his followers often visited the house that became a centre of intellectual exercise and people like Rabindranath Tagore, Jagadish Chandra Bose and his wife Abala, Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, S K Ratcliffe, the then Editor of The Statesman and his wife, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Dinesh Chandra Sen were frequent visitors. The house played an important role in the socio-cultural movement in Bengal.