– Sitaram Ayyagari
Smt. Duvvuri Subbamma was born in 1881 in Daksharamam, East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh. She was the daughter of Malladi Subbavadhani and the wife of Duvvuru Venkayya. She married at the age of ten and was widowed at a very young age of 11. After her husband’s death, she was trained in Telegu and Samskrutam by one of very famous Telegu poets, Sri Challapaalli Venkatasastrygaru. Inspired by national leaders fighting for independent Bharat, she convinced her family to participate in the movement.
She extensively traveled throughout Andhra Pradesh and she used to compose inspirational poetry on independence and sing. She took up activism and joined the Quit India Movement against the British Raj. She took part in the civil disobedience movement and strongly advocated total freedom from British rule in India.
In 1921, in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, she delivered very inspirational speech that even inspired Sri TanguturiPrakasam pantulu, who was the Chief Minister of the Madras Presidency, and subsequently became the first Chief Minister of the new Andhra State. She also instrumental in promoting women’s empowerment. In 1923, she organized a meeting in Kakinada, where hundreds of women volunteers attended the Kakinada Congress Mahasabha. Subbammaorganized Andhra Mahila Sabhas that trained and educated women in the national freedom movement and was instrumental in galvanizing support of the women in the Indian independence movement.
She devoted almost all her money for the freedom movement and women empowerment. Together with other activists like Nadimpalli, Sundaramma helped set up the Goteti Manikyamba, Andhra Mahasabha, and T. Varakshmamma organizations. Subbamma was arrested several time during the movements. She was incarcerated in the Rajahmundry prison for one year during civil disobedience movement. She also spent an year in the Rayavellore prison during “Salt March”. She aggressively spoke out and worked for the abolition of untouchability in India.
She was awarded “Desa Bandhavi”,and memorialized with a bust in the Freedom Park in Rajahmundry.