A tribute to Maharani Yasho Rajyalakshmi

Ravi Rohmetra
May 24,  2009 was indeed a sad day for many people, particularly the people living in Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi because on that day the erstwhile Maharani Yasho Rajya Lakshmi, wife of  Dr. Karan Singh shed her mortal frame and became a part of the cosmic soul. Maharani Yasho Rajya Lakshmi was an idol of beauty, prosperity, love and affection and social worker devoted to the cause of welfare of widows, orphans, the poor, deaf and dumb and the weaker sections of the society. Maharani Yasho Rajya Lakshmi was born in a Royal Family of Sir Mohan Shamsher Jang Bahadur, last Rana Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Nepal on 9th January 1937. Her father was General Sharda Shamsher Singh. At her minor age of 13 years on 5th March 1950, she was married with the son of the Royal House of Dogra Ruler Maharaj Hari Singh ( Prince Karan Singh Bahadur Ji of 19 years) Both these Royal families deemed themselves as the successors of Rajputana ” Kachawaha” and “Sisodia” dynasties. The ancestors of Jammu Royal family ” Kachawaha” were the rulers of Jaipur while the ancestors of royal family of Nepal “Sisodia” were the rulers of Udaipur. But due to long stay at two different places of Jammu and Nepal, difference of language and culture was a reality in both the families. This was a great challenge for Yasho Rajya Lakshmi who was Nepali speaking and grew up with five brothers and sisters and her tie with an unknow person speaking other language. Lessons in English from Hanley and in painting from Lillian Purbi supported by her caring husband, she became proficient in her official duties as well as of a hostess. Both wife and husband had a brief meeting before marriage for a short while of half an hour. The marriage was solemnised with full religious fervour as well as according to the traditions of Nepal and Dogra. By this two nations got relations. Life partner of Maharaja Sahib,  Maharani Yasho Lakshmi started working for the welfare of the poor, needy, deaf and dumb, widows, mentally retarded children, blind, both in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in capital city of India Delhi. This type of service has not been undertaken by any other religious or social society. Whatever Maharani Yasho Rajya Lakshmi did  socially or religiously was a selfless service but it was all for her own satisfaction and object of social service. Maharani Yasho Rajya Lakshmi in addition to enjoying her married life with successor of Dogra rulers, Central Government Minister, member Parliament Dr. Karan Singh continued her higher studies despite. And in a short span of time she learnt Dogri and Hindi languages. On hearing her Dogri language nobody could say that she was a Nepali language knowing personality. She continued to work for  the welfare of needy and the poor during the period.
During Indo-Pak war of 1965, she under took various welfare activities for the army personnel. She spent hours together with the army personnel in trying circumstances, distributing commodities tirelessly. Maharani Yasho Rajya Lakshmi since her beginning was familiar among women though being a bridegroom of Royal family she used to live in simplicity. Maharni was a disciple of  MaaDurga and she had full faith in Maa Durga. During the year 1979 Dr Karan Singh and Maharani Yasho Rajya Lakshmi installed the idol of Natraj in the complex of Raghunath Ji Temple Jammu. A very good judge of people, she was a constant companion to Dr Karan Singh during his long and arduous election compaings in the constituency of Udhampur and Kathua. Mingling with older people especially ladies, she ensured their support for her husband.
Maharani Yasho Rajya Lakshmi was the organiser of  Ladies Clubs in J and K Chief of the Delhi Hospital Welfare Society and organiser of Dharmarth Trust J and K, besides being Chairperson of Kashmir Women’s Industrial Units, Chairperson of Maharaja Gulab Singh Memorial Trust, Patron of Deaf and Dumb Societies and Mentally Retarded. She was managing these different societies smoothly. In the sad demise of Maharani Sahiba, the State in particular has suffered a setback. Though Maharni Sahiba is not physically with us but the works she did for the poor needy, handicapped, orphans, and deaf, dumb, blind, suffering widows, physically and mentally retarded children will be remembered by us till these works continue to run. Due to untimely death of Maharani Yasho Rajya Lakshmi the Dogra community has suffered irreparable loss.


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