• Recently, the death anniversary of Begum Sultan Jahan was observed.
  • She was a Philanthropist, Prolific writer, Feminist, Symbol of Women Empowerment, First female Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.

Important points

Birth: In 1858 (Bhopal).

  • She was the last Begum of Bhopal. Ruled from 1909 to 1926 after which she was succeeded by her son.
  • Fourth female ruler of Bhopal.
  • Set up the municipality system, introduced municipal elections and constructed a walled city and a palace for herself.
  • Took steps for improving public health, sanitation, and water supply in the walled city and implemented widespread vaccination drives for its residents.

Feminist Icon:

  • Her progressive policies for women, at a time when they were shackled by the forces of patriarchy, have made her a feminist icon even today.
  • Constructed a Meeting Hall for Ladies in Lahore in 1913.
  • Organised an exhibition called ‘Numaish Masunuaat e Hind’ in Bhopal to encourage women and promote handicrafts.
  • Established the Sultan Jahan Endowment Trust with a corpus of Rs three lakhs for helping needy students.
  • Funded a Madrasa in Deoband (UP), Nadwatul Uloom in Lucknow and even Madarsa Sultania in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
  • Institutions such as Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi and some renowned colleges in Bombay and Calcutta received generous grants from her.


  • Authored 41 books, translated a number of English books into Urdu.
  • Authored a book, Dars-e-Hayat, about the education and parenting of young girls.
  • Revamped the syllabus and added subjects such as English, Urdu, Arithmetic, Home Science and crafts of the Sultania School she started.
  • Started a nursing school called Lady Minto Nursing School.
  • She was the first women chancellor of AMU (Aligarh Muslim University).
  • During AMU’s centenary celebrations in December 2020, the Prime paid tribute to Begum Jahan and her contribution to the historic institution.

Death: 12th May 1930.


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