Saraswati, Prabhavati Devi

Saraswati, Prabhavati Devi (1905-1972) writer, was born in her maternal uncle's house at Khatura in Govordanga, 24-Parganas, west bengal. Her father, Gopalchandra Bandyopadhyay, was a lawyer in Dinajpur.

At the age of nine, Prabhavati Devi got married to Bibhutibhushan Chowdhury of Gaigur village, near Govordanga. After completing her Teacher's Training from the Brahma Girls' Training College, she taught for a long time in the Calcutta Corporation School She also founded and taught at the North Calcutta Savitri School. She used to write in the contemporary journals, such as Banshri, Sarathi, Upasana, Udvodhan, Sammilani, mohammadi, bharatvarsa, etc. Her first novel, Bijita, was published in 1923. Later, the novel was produced as a film in several languages: Bhabga Gada in Bangla, Bhabi in Hindi, and Fuldevam in Malayam. Her novel, Pather Shese, was dramatised as Banglar Meye and staged in Kolkata. She also wrote more than three hundred books including stories, novels, and books for children. Her major works included Bratacharini, Mahiyasi Nari, Byathita Dharitri, Dhular Dharani, Rabga Bau, Jagaran, Bidhabar Katha, etc. The main themes of her books are social. She upholds the ideals and values of hindusim. She was also a well-known songwriter.

Together with Shyamaprasad Mukhopadhyay, Prabhavati Devi, was a director of the Jamsedpur All India Bengali Literary Society. The Navadwip Scholars Society gave her the title 'Saraswati' and Calcutta University gave her the Leela Award (1946). She died on 14 May 1972 in Kolkata. [Abul Hasnat]