Frustrated by the second grade treatment imparted to an Indian pregnant woman by the British woman, a nurse working with a hospital, revolted in 1920. The nation was ruled by the British physically, but the mind of the people here was preparing for freedom from it.
The incident appeared to be small, but ignited the spark against the inhuman treatment to a pregnant woman, who was refused bed pan for being Indian. The nurse who not only provided services to that woman, but also left the job of a nurse, with determination to start a maternity home for Indian women.
The iron lady was none other than Kamlatai Hospet, who was later honoured by Government of India by conferring Padma Shree award. A child widow Kamlatai, who was brought here by her brothers, after her husband died in Karnataka. She was trained to be a nurse and started working with the hospital, which today is known as Daga Hospital. A single incident at this hospital laid foundation of Matru Sewa Sangh, which today is a prime institution in Central India, with 20 odd branches spread in Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Kamlatai discussed the humiliation she faced, with some prominent families in the city. Mathurabai Dravid, Laxmibai Gadgil, Gangabai Gokhale, Laxmibai Kelkar, Dr. Indirabai Niyogi, Dr. Kamlakar, Sitabai Gadgil, Parvatibai Karanjgaonkar and Dr. Nanasaheb Krishna Mohani, Shri. Haribhau Krishna Mohani, Shri. Appasaheb Chitale, Dr. N.B.Khare, Dr.L.V.Paranjape,Dr Gayaprasad, Dr Hardas, Shri Baburao Paturkar, Tapodhan Krishnarao Jaju are some prominent persons who helped her to start a maternity home for Indian women. Most of the deliveries were being carried out at home in those days. Starting in a single rented room in Mahal area of the city, the efforts took a formal shape oin May 8, 1921, the foundation day of Matru Sewa Sangh. The day was Akshay Tritiya, the day of sacrifice as per Hindu belief. And the noble sacrifice of a woman of short stature and high determination Kamlatai Hospet, along with her friend Venutai laid foundation of what is called today Matru Sewa Sangh. Earlier it was called ‘Sutika Gruha’ (Matrinity Home) and had to be accommodated in rented places,including the famous Chitanis Wada in Mahal.
After struggle for honour of ‘motherhood’ Kamlatani and Venutai could get land in Sitabuldi, where a huge Matru Sewa Sangh Matrinity Home stands today. The area which today is centre of the city, was totally outside the main city in 1920-21.
Kiamlatai started several branches of the Maternity Home in Central Province. The branches of Matru Sewa Sangh spread in almost 20 cities in Central India, including two in Nagpur in Mahal and Sitabuldi. This was probably first service to the Indian women, to honour the motherhood and groom the future India through their children. The political leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and others had started the freedom struggle. But the real freedom struggle for mothers of India was started by Kamlatai Hospet in Nagpur.
Indutai Paranjape, Krishnatai Bhave, Malinibai Mahabal, Shantabai Dubey, Gopikabai Patwardhan, Kamalatai Vidwans, Godutai Kothiwale, Shantabai Lonakar, Nirubai Bhujade, Shantabai Sahasrabuddhe, Savitribai Nagdavai, Savitribai Nagdavane. Dr. Dwarkabai Kamlakar, Dr. Indirabai Niyogi, Dr. Padmavati Thergaonkar, Dr. Kamal Tare, Dr. Kumud Deshpande, Dr. Sumati Khare, Dr. Malati Kurve, Dr. Kamalabai Naralkar, Dr. Vanita Chorghade , Dr. Vatsala Karjagaonkar, Dr. Kusumatai Wankar, Dr. Durgabai Vazhalwar, Dr. Kamal Joshi, Dr. Prameel Asolkar, Dr. Padmaja Risbud, Dr. Chhaya Chaurasia, Dr. Ratna Shekhawat are pnl;y a few names who dedicated their lives for the institution, which is 100 years old now.
Matru Sewa Sangh has a great legacy . To name a few Sitabai Gadgil, Laxmibai Gadgil, Manoramabai Badkas, Sushilabai Mohoni, Kamalabai Ranade, Pramilabai Dani, Dr.Satyabala Tayal, Dr.Kusum Wankar, Dr.Pramil Asolkar, Dr.Aruna Babhulkar,Gangabai Gokhale, Kamalabai Ranade, Indutai Paranjape,Indumati Deshmukh, Champatai Warhadpande, Nalini Dani, Dr.Lata Deshmukh, Dr.Sneha Deshpande, Mrs.Kanchan Gadkari have been rendering services to the institution with equal zeal of Padma Shri kamlatai Hospet.
Nitin Gadkari to be the chief guest for MSS Centenary prog
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who was born in Matru Sewa Sangth, Mahal bnranch will be the chief guest for centenary year celebration of MSS at 11 am on May 14, the Akshay Tritiya Day.
The programme will be held on-line, because of lockdown due to Corona pandemic.