- Anvi Patil(Xth A Abhinav Vidyalay)
Art editor- Arya Palav
Fact checker-Anvi Patil
You must be wondering who the young Teenage Spy is, she is actually a teenage girl ,16-year-old Saraswathi Rajamani, who smuggled secrets for the Indian National Army’s intelligence wing.
Saraswati Rajamani was born in Burma in 1927 ,in a family of freedom fighters Rajamani grew up in a liberal household where there were no restrictions for the girls. She was 10, when she met Mahatma Gandhi, who was visiting their home in Rangoon (present day Yangon, the capital of Burma).
Gandhiji was shocked to see a 10 year's old child holding a gun,practicing shooting skills. Gandhi ji asked Rajamani why she needed a gun.
She answered “To shoot down the Britishers, of course,”
“Violence is not the answer, little girl. We are fighting the British through non-violent ways. You should also do that,” Gandhi ji said..
“We shoot and kill the looters, don’t we? The British are looting India, and I am going to shoot at least one Britisher when I grow up,” said a determined Rajamani.
Bose was collecting funds and recruits for INA,Rajamani donated all her expensive jewels to Bose.Very next day Bose came to return it but she was so stubborn she refused from taking it back.It was then when Bose said “Lakshmi (money) comes and goes but not Saraswathi. You have the wisdom of Saraswathi. Hence, I name you Saraswathi.” This was how Rajamani became Saraswathi Rajamani from that day onwards.
Bose recruited a 16 year old and four of her friends as spies in INA's Intelligence wing. Rajamani named as Mani, and her friends masqueraded as boys for almost two years to gather Intelligence on british movements.Once ,one of the girl from unit of rajamani got caught by british.fo rescuing her, Rajamani dressed herself as a dancing girl, drugged the officers and rescued her colleague. As the girls were escaping, Rajamani got shot at her right leg. But Still she managed to escape, Rajamani and her friend climbed up a tree where they camped for three days while the British carried out their search operation. The bullet wound made Rajamani with a permanent limp, but she was proud of it as she remembered her contribution in INA.
Even at this old age, she collects cloth scraps and uses these to make clothes that she donates to orphanages and old age homes. During the tsunami of 2006, she also donated her monthly pension to the relief fund.
Somehow, history tends to forget that women, who walked shoulder to shoulder with the men during trying times, still remain in the shadows, their faces forgotten and their bravery. Saraswathi Rajamani is one such woman, whose exceptional bravery and intelligence deserves to be recognised and respected by the country.
Click on the below link to watch the rescue operation of Rajamani’s friend:
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Location: Abhinav Vidyalay