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'Bhopal set example of women empowerment, Begums showed how women can lead'

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

BHOPAL: When it comes to women's empowerment, Bhopal has an illustrious and unparalleled history.

The Begums of Bhopal set an example for the rest of the world. They were at the helm and ran the entire government, administration and ruled the erstwhile princely state for generations. 

On the occasion of the International Women's Day, the contribution of the Begums as strong women who inspired generations and set an example, was recalled. The participants highlighted the legacy of the Begums at the 'Yaad-e-Begmaat' seminar organised under the aegis of Barkatullah Youth Forum.

Eminent author Dr Razia Hamid spoke at length about the immense contribution of the Begums of Bhopal towards empowerment of women and the direct affect it had on masses. She said that Sultan Jahan Begum opened schools and also helped those who were working for the cause of education and offered assistance in setting institutions outside the state.

She stressed on the fact that Nawab Sultan Jahan Begum was also the chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Historian Rizwan Uddin Ansari said that women played a stellar and greater role in development of Bhopal, compared to their male counterparts. 

Women achievers who have made important contribution to the society were felicitated and given Nishan-e-Shahjehani during the event. The erstwhile princely state of Bhopal was ruled by Nawab Qudsia Begam, Nawab Sikandar Jahan Begam, Nawab Shahjehan Begam and Nawab Sultan Jahan Begum.

Besides, many other strong women have played important role in the affairs of the region from the early part of eighteenth century. Prof Ashar Kidwai, Khalid Ghani, Mohammad Mahir and Anas Ali also addressed the seminar. Mohammad Mahir congratulated the organisers for the event.

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Journalist for more than 20 years. Had started his career with National Mail in the nineties. Worked as Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, as an Assistant Editor with DB Post, later Contributing Editor with The Huffington Post, writes for First Post, The Wire, Newsd & several other major publications.