Nightingale or BulBul of Orissa Kuntala Kumari Sabat

Through this article,I want to provide some information about Smt. Kuntala Kumari Sabat,who is popularly known as Nightingale bulbul of Orissa and regarding her life.Details are presented in the description given below.

The Brightening star, who though twinkled for a little period in the literature sky of Orissa is Kuntala Kumari Sabat- Bulbul of Odia literature. She was born on Feb 1, 1901 in an Hindu Brahmin (afterwards converted Christian) family in a backward province of Orissa Bastar in a place called Jagdalpur (now in Chattishgarh). The name of her father is Daniel Sabat and by profession he is a doctor. Her Grandfather was a Brahmin of Danda Mukundpur village of Puri dist.. But her mother Monica Sabat belonged to a Hindu karan family. Some unavoidable situations compelled them to convert into Christian, but they had never forgotten their Hindu culture. Her Parents were staying in Burma for quite a while. Because of that she has managed her childhood in Burma only. At the age of 14, she has returned to Orissa once again and stayed for a while at Khurda. She has completed her high school career in Ravenshaw girls school . After that she studied medicine in Cuttack Medical College and got her LMP degree with distinction in the year 1921. She has started her medical practice under the guidance of Dr. Kailash Ch. Rao for 7 years till 1928. And after that she continued it independently in Cuttack.

She was very fond of writing poems and novels even from her childhood. During her school career, she has started writing many poems and some of them are 'Anjali', 'shatrutu','Ganga Siuli', 'Awhan', 'Prem Chintamani', 'Oriyanka Kandana' ,'Uchhwas', 'Spuling'etc. Her excellence work on novels include 'Na Tundi', 'Kali Bohu', 'Parasmani', 'Bhranti', 'Raghu Arakhita', etc. Mostly Social issues and patriotism were featured in her writings. She has always raised her voice against the wrong beliefs present in the society. She wrote many poems in Hindi language also. She was also the influential editor of several Hindi periodicals like Mahabir, Jeevan , Nari Bharati etc. She was the founder of the association 'Bharati Tapovan Sangha', basically formed for the development of oriya literature. She was honored by Mahila Bandhu Samiti as Utkal Bharati in the year 1925. Besides she was also honored by many of the institutes of literature in Delhi. Many of her poems have also been translated in different Indian languages and in English.

Besides a very eminent poet and writer, she was also a social worker. She was the first lady doctor in Cuttack. She was the superintendent of Cuttack Red Cross for a while in 1925. She always advocated for the women rights and empowerment through her writings. She protested child marriage, purdah and untouchability. Her steps towards widow marriage is praiseworthy. She was a follower of Gandhi. She has also participated actively in Indian Freedom Struggle.

She loved Dr. Kailash Chandra Rao, who is much more senior to her but couldn't able to merry him. At the end, she got married to Krushna Prasad Brahmachari ignoring caste and adopted Arya dharma.

Kuntala Kumari did not live long; she left the world at the early age of 38 only in the year 1938. Though her life was for a short span, but through her writings she has created a great space in the hearts of many poem lovers. For her works, she was often compared with Sarojini Naidu. As Sarojini Naidu is the Nightingale of India, similarly Kuntala Kumari is the Nightingale or BulBul of Orissa.


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