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Freedom Fighter Prafulla Chaki's Grandniece Forced to Live in a Roadside Shanty Amid Covid-19 Crisis

By: Sujit Nath

News18.com

Last Updated: April 16, 2020, 19:16 IST

Grandniece of freedom fighter Prafulla Chandra Chaki lives in a roadside shanty made of tin and plastic sheets.

Grandniece of freedom fighter Prafulla Chandra Chaki lives in a roadside shanty made of tin and plastic sheets.

Madhabi Taludar recalled how she grew up in a family where strategy to fight the British forces and planning to achieve freedom was given utmost priority above everything else.

Kolkata: From freedom struggle to Covid-19 pandemic, Madhabi Taludar's ordeal reached the West Bengal Secretariat and also moved a Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA, who not only provided her food but also assured her of better medical facilities. The 77-year-old lost everything she had accumulated over the years to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and has been left with only limited means to survive.

Gangarampur MLA Goutam Das not only provided her enough ration and cooked food but also promised her medical facility and a better shelter for her.

From the wife of an affluent businessman to running a tea stall with her son to living in a roadside shanty - life has always been a challenge for this septuagenarian.

Grandniece of freedom fighter Prafulla Chandra Chaki, Taludar from West Bengal's South Dinajpur district was forced to live in a roadside shanty made of tin and plastic sheets after she lost her husband.

Her granduncle, Chaki, was a revolutionary who carried out assassinations against British colonial officials during the Indian independence movement in 1947.

Chaki and Khudiram Bose tried to assassinate the then District Judge Douglas Kingsford but in a failed mission, the bomb hurled by them killed the wife and daughter of Pringle Kennedy, a leading pleader of Muzaffarpur Bar in 1908.

Bose was nabbed and hanged while Chaki managed to flee but later killed himself to evade arrest.

After more than 100 years of the incident, Taludar recalled how she grew up in a family where strategy to fight the British forces and planning to achieve freedom was given utmost priority above everything else.

"This epidemic added more problems in my life. Few days ago, there was some problem but thankfully I got some ration from the local administration and local people," she said.

According to reports, she spends her days in hunger due to the Covid-19 lockdown imposed across the nation.

Gangarampur MLA Goutam Das he rubbished the reports and said, "She has two sons and earlier they used to stay together. But now most of the time she lives alone in a house at Old Gangarampur. Sometimes, her younger son stays with her. She has a property dispute with her family members and we always helped her whenever she asked for anything. We also offered her son to open a vegetable shop in my area. It is unfortunate that despite helping her, media report says that she was hungry for days. There is no dearth of ration in her house and the news is false and baseless."

"We also promised her a house in coming months and assured all kind of assistance to her. I would like to request all not to spread such news which sends a wrong signal," he added.

However, BJP President from South Dinajpur District Binoy Burman alleged that the state government is trying to cover up the matter. "She was not getting adequate ration during lockdown and now the state government is trying to suppress the matter. It is only after the media reports that the district administration rushed to her shanty and provided ration," he said.

"Yesterday, BJP MP from Balurghat, Sukanta Majumdar, decided to meet her with some relief material but before he could reach her house, she was taken to the police station by the local administration and was not allowed to meet our MP. This shows that the government is trying to hide the fact. I would like ask the state government what they have done for her? Why the state government did nothing despite knowing that she is a relative of great freedom fighter Prafulla Chaki. It is a matter of shame for us and we want immediate rehabilitation package for her," he added.

In December last year, the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) decided to correct the history textbooks of Class 8 that referred to freedom fighters Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki as 'revolutionary terrorists'.
first published:April 16, 2020, 19:15 IST
last updated:April 16, 2020, 19:16 IST