50 views 5 mins 0 comments

Jankidevi Bajaj’s English Autobiography Launched on her 125th Birth Anniversary

In Nation
January 16, 2019

‘My Life’s Journey’, the English translation of the autobiography of Jankidevi Bajaj was launched today on the occasion of the 26th IMC Ladies Wing Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar 2018.

The book was launched by writer and translator, Sudeepta Vyas and supermodel & actor Milind Soman in presence of Rahul Bajaj and other Bajaj Family members. The book contains a foreword on her selfless and inspiring life by Rahul Bajaj, Head-Bajaj Group. The contributions made by Padma Vibhushan Jankidevi Bajaj, wife of Jamnalal Bajaj, Founder, Bajaj Group, towards achieving India’s freedom has made her a woman of national significance.

The launch of the translated version of the autobiography of Jankidevi Bajaj (1893-1979) coincides with her 125th year birth anniversary. ‘My Life’s Journey’ is a detailed narration of Jankidevi’s experiences as the young and curious daughter of a wealthy businessman in Jaora, Madhya Pradesh, married at the age of eight and a half to Jamnalal Bajaj, son of the affluent Bajaj family (in Wardha). The book offers an insight into the transformation of a rich and privileged sethani into a social worker and activist who gave up all her wealth and owned not more than her weathered khadi bag and a few meagre belongings. It provides a marvelous revelation about the camaraderie between our national leaders and shows us their completely different side.

The book draws the readers into the crucial moments of Indian history such as Dandi March, Civil Disobedience Movement, Gandhi’s assassination, advent of Khadi and how these moments formed the backdrop of Jankidevi’s life. Historic moments come alive from Jankidevi’s perspective, that of a woman, a mother, an environmentalist, a social entrepreneur, a reformer, and a leader who was influenced by some of the best teachers the country could offer- Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and Jamnalal Bajaj.

The book also offers images that will take back the reader to the era gone by and relate the story through the pictures.

Rahul Bajaj, Head, Bajaj Group, on the book launch said, “The idea of the translation of the autobiography has been brewing in my sister-in-law Kiran Bajaj’s mind since the inception of the IMC Ladies’ Wing Rural Entrepreneur of the year Award in 1992. In today’s world where we are talking about women empowerment and encouraging women entrepreneurs, the story of an enterprising woman who without much formal education went on to inspire women needs to be told and heard.”

During the launch Sudeepta Vyas, the writer of the book said, “I feel fortunate to have had an opportunity to narrate the tale of a simple girl’s journey towards becoming a prominent nationalist. I believe that the story has the power to inspire any generation and thus the book comes at a very apt time wherein people can understand what went behind India’s freedom that we enjoy today. The entire process of penning down her autobiography has been transformational, offering me a fresh perspective about the struggle endured by our national leaders to get us a free and independent India. Also, I am indebted to Mukul Upadhyay for his generous help with information and archival support on the Bajaj family’s contribution to India’s freedom struggle. His support has been invaluable to me in writing ‘My Life’s Journey’.

Focusing on Kiran Bajaj’s aim to reach hearts of youngsters through this book, Sudeepta Vyas has translated the story keeping its essence intact and staying true to the original narrative style. The readers will be drawn into the independence era stories of struggle, sacrifice and freedom. The book describes her leadership qualities coupled with compassion which would have been welcome at any time and made a difference to her nation, regardless of generation, century or era.

Published by Jaico Books, the book is available at major bookstores for Rs 499 and available online through Flipkart and Amazon.

During the book launch at the awards ceremony, Pavithra Y Sundareshan, Founder and Managing Director of Vindhya e-Infomedia Pvt. Ltd. was awarded the Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar 2018 for her outstanding contribution toward Rural Entrepreneurship. The launch was hosted by the Ladies Wing of the Indian Merchants’ Chamber, presided by Mohana Nair. The Chief Guest was Safeena Husain, Founder and Executive Director, Educate Girls.