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Gmeiner, Leonora

(1860-1950). Gmeiner was the daughter of Jerome Heronamus Gmeiner and Caroline Eliza Gmeiner (nee Hadrick). Gmeiner joined the Theosophical Society at the Adelaide Lodge, South Australia, and through her association with the Society became interested in Indian affairs. She left Australia in 1905 to serve “India’s Daughters” and was head of Indraprastha Girls’ School at Delhi, a new primary school. Through her able management the institution, by 1933, became a degree college of the University of Delhi. She inspired the founding of Stri Shiksha Pracharni Sabha, dedicated to the social and moral advancement of women in Delhi in 1908 and played an important part in the removal of purdah (seclusion and veiling of women) and the raising of the marriage age of Indian girls. Failing eyesight compelled her to leave the school in April 1934 and she returned to Australia and stayed for a time at the Shanti Ashrama, Tecoma, Belgrave, Victoria. Gmeiner was awarded the KAISER-I-HIND MEDAL in 1934 and the Government of India made special arrangements for its presentation in Australia. She died on May 13, 1950, at Adelaide, South Australia.


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