Comrade Pramila Pandhe
COMRADE Pramila Pandhe, veteran member of the Party passed away on October 31, 2021. She was 94 years old.
Pramila Pandhe was born on November 26, 1927 in Bhusawal, Maharashtra. Her father, an official in the railway, was not politically active but was a follower of Bal Gangadhar Tilak and supported his ideas about independence. She started going for the ‘prabhat pheris’ at the age of seven with all the other children. She along with other children used to do picketing, raising slogans and sing patriotic songs.
She was influenced by her English and Maths school teachers in Bhusawal who were communists. She joined the Rashtra Seva Dal as a young girl before 1936. In 1937, she joined the Salt Satyagraha started by Mahatma Gandhi. She was arrested on August 9 during the Bharat Chodo Andolan in 1942 during a demonstration and sent to Faizpur jail. She was 15 years old then. Her father was upset at his daughter being arrested and got her released after five days.
Pramila Pandhe joined the All India Students’ Federation in 1946 in Pune. She used to participate in all the political campaigns and also raise student issues. She was a member of the singing and acting squads. On behalf of the party, she used to go to areas where Gandhiji was working in sweeper’s colonies.
She used to sell the party organ – People’s War and later People’s Age. She faced harassment by the Congress goons who used to snatch the party papers and burn them. She was actively involved in party activities since 1947.
Pramila Pandhe became a party member in 1948, as candidate member. Since the party was banned, party work could not be done openly. Only underground activities could be organised. Many of the leaders were arrested. She became a part of the team of couriers for the party.
She was a staunch advocate of women’s rights. She played an important role in laying the foundation of the All India Democratic Women’s Association.
She was active in the trade union movement and was one of the founding leaders of CITU in Delhi and also of the All India Coordination Committee of Working Women. She was the life partner of Comrade M K Pandhe, one of pioneers of the trade union movement and former general secretary and president of CITU.
The AIDWA and CITU issued statements paying homage to the departed leader and conveyed condolences to the family and comrades.