Lakshmi N Menon
Lakshmi N. Menon was a teacher, lawyer, politician and activist. In 1927, while studying in England, she went to Moscow to attend the 10th anniversary celebrations of Soviet Union as a member of the student delegation..There she met Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the meeting inspired her to enter politics. In 1948 and 1950, she was nominated as a member of the Indian delegation to the United Nations. She was nominated to the Committee on Status of Women (CSW) at the UN and was head of the Indian delegation to the UN General Assembly.She was elected as a Rajya Sabha member in 1952, 1954 and 1960. She has served as Minister of State with independent charge of External Affairs, in the cabinets of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shasthri. She travelled extensively and has played a vital role in shaping the foreign policy of India. When China attacked India, Pt Nehru deputed her as India’s roving ambassador to clarify India’s stand to various nations in the worldShe was also involved in setting up the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Kerala. Women in India got insurance coverage only because of her initiative during the period she served as Director of LIC of India. She played n important role in establishing the All India Women’s Conference (AIWC). She purchased the land for AIWC at New Delhi, mortgaging her own ornaments and property. The concept of ‘Mother’s Day’ is also Lakshmi Menon’s gift. She thought that Kasturba’s memory should be commemorated as ‘Mother’s Day’. Smt. Menon provided a free and compulsory education for all children so that no new illiterates were added to the large number of illiterates already in India. She wanted all voters to sign their name instead of their ‘finger prints”.