Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the restored house of Sister Nivedita, a disciple of Swami Vivekananada, in the city where she had stayed and carried out various social work, including setting up a girls’ school.
The century-old two-storeyed building at 16-A Bosepara Lane in Bagbazar area was in shambles when the state government acquired it and handed it to Ramakrishna Sarada Mission, a religious monastic order, for renovation.
“It’s our prime responsibility to protect buildings of such importance. Our government had acquired this heritage building where Sister Nivedita once stayed and handed it over to Ramakrishna Sarada Mission,” Banerjee said inaugurating the building which was declared as a Grade-I heritage building by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
“Sister Nivedita’s service to humanity and her mission for furtherance of education, social service and values continue to be our inspiration and guiding force. My deepest regards to Sister,” she said.
The Mission has proposed to set up a museum in the renovated building where many articles used by the Sister Nivedita will be exhibited.
Born Margaret Elizabeth Noble born on October 28, 1867, at Dungannon in Ireland, she had had met Vivekananda in 1895 in London and travelled to Kolkata three years later and was intiated to the spiritual path by him that year.
She was christened Sister Nivedita by Vivekananda and had opened a school for girls from middle-class families of Kolkata in November 1898 in the presence of Vivekananda and Sarada Devi, the spiritual consort of Ramakrishna.
Vivekananda and his followers used to frequently visit the house which later became a centre of intellectual exercise. Noted personalities like national poet Rabindranath Tagore, scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose among others used to frequent Nivedita’s house.