Kamini Roy (Bengali: কামিনী রায়) was a leading Bengali poet, social worker and feminist from India. She was the first woman honours graduate in India.

Early Life

Born in the village of Basanda, then in Bakergunj district of East Bengal and now in Barisal District of Bangladesh, she passed the entrance examination in 1880 from Bethune School, established by Bethune at Kolkata, and first arts in 1883. A part of the earliest batch of girls to attend school, she was the first woman honours graduate in the country, having passed her bachelor of arts degree with Sanskrit honours from Bethune College of the University of Calcutta in 1886. Kadambini Ganguly was three years senior to her in the same institution. She continued her association with Bethune College as a teacher.

She hailed from a family of elite Bengal. Her father, Chandi Charan Sen, a judge and a writer, was a leading member of the Brahmo Samaj. Nisith Chandra Sen, her brother, was a renowned barrister in the Calcutta High Court, and later the Mayor of Calcutta. Another sister, Jamini was the house physician of the then Nepal Royal family. In 1894 she married Kedarnath Roy.

She was inclined towards literature from a young age and started composing poems at the age of eight. Her first book of poems, Alo O Chhaya, was published in 1889.

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