A large part of the life of Margaret Elizabeth Noble
rechristned Bhagini (Sister) Nivedita, from the day of her birth in Tyrone,
Ireland to her passing in Darjeeling was devoted to the service of India. A
theme that service to mankind is the true service to God ran through the life
of this Scots-Irish social worker, author, teacher and a disciple of Swami
Vivekananda whom she met in 1895 in London and travelled to Calcutta in 1898.
Swami Vivekananda gave her the name Nivedita (meaning “Dedicated to God”) when
he initiated her into the vow of Brahmacharya on 25 March 1898. In November
1898, she opened a girls’ school in Bagbazar area of Calcutta. She wanted to
educate those girls who were deprived of even basic education. During the
plague epidemic in Calcutta in 1899 Nivedita nursed and took care of the poor
patients. Sister Nivedita remains one of the most influential female figures of
India. Her book Kali, the Mother influenced Abanindranath Tagore who painted
Bharat Mata.

A prolific orator and writer who contributed to The
Statesman, she extensively toured India to deliver lectures, especially on India’s
culture and religion. She appealed to the Indian youth to work selflessly. She
lived and worked in Bagbazar, a neighbourhood in north Kolkata which needs no
introduction. In the fitness of things, tributes will be paid to her memory in
a festival in her name at Bosepara Lane in this locality today. Organised by
the publicaton firm Sutradhar with the cooperation of the local people, the
organizers welcome all to participate in this function comprising exhibition,
book releases, songs and talk shows in the memory of a woman who lived and died
for India.