A revolutionary woman who changed the face of Nepali education for women was Angur Baba Joshi, one of the most influential people I have come across.– Krisha Niroula
If I were to describe her in a sentence it would be, ”a woman ahead of her time.”
Back in the 1900s when women were only limited to household works, it was mostly men who went to schools and graduated. To pass high school at that time was a huge obstacle and an accomplishment. It was always men who felt accomplished. Angur Joshi was among the first four women to pass the high school exams in 1949. Not just that, she was the first Nepali woman to graduate from Oxford University. Mrs.Joshi wore many hats, as she was also the first female college principal of Nepal and the only woman in the committee to work on a new draft constitution in 1966 AD.
The curiosity of knowledge started as a rebellious move for her. Girls weren’t encouraged to study back in the day, but the rebellious Angur sat alongside with her brothers to learn. She would snatch their books and would teach herself English.
At that time, child marriage was heavily practised and at the age of 11, Angur Baba was married to Balaram Joshi. Luckily, her mother-in-law was a big supporter of women’s education so she was sent to school along with her husband, and they both graduated together.
The two then went to Banaras to do their Bachelors, where Angur Baba gave birth to her second child. After graduation, they entrusted the children with their parents and carried on with their Masters. She then returned to Nepal and started teaching at Padma Kanya girl’s college. After which they went to Oxford university on full scholarship, leaving their three children with their family.
She graduated as a law student from Oxford and returned to Nepal to advocate for women’s education. She set up schools and colleges for women and advocated for their rights.
Angur Baba Joshi is someone who has changed the face of women’s education in Nepal for the good. It was a start and now there’s no going back. I have long admired her for her revolutionary movements, her rebellious acts and her determination. Her passion towards education is truly motivating and her actions have made me rethink my rights. If I was born in my grandmother’s time perhaps, enhancing my knowledge and growth with education would have been forbidden. I am lucky to have been given the opportunity of education but there’s still a lot that needs to be done.
Krisha Niroula, Nepal
Krisha Niroula, is a senior in high school student from Nepal. She serves as the vice president in an economics club and is extremely interested in learning about the world and the current affairs. She loves reading books, mostly about refugees and absolutely loves spending time with her dog, Bruno.