Rajkumari Amrit Kaur was independent India’s first health minister. In 1950, she also became the first female and first Asian president of the World Health Assembly. She co-founded the All India Woman’s Conference in 1927 and served as its secretary in 1930 and president in 1933. She was appointed a member of the Advisory Board of Education by the British government, but resigned in 1942 in support of the Quit India Movement
. She headed India’s delegation to the World Health Organization several times. As an activist, she worked to reduce illiteracy and eradicate child marriage. She pioneered the establishment of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and served as its first president. She was also the Chairperson of the Indian Red Cross for fourteen years.
A part of the Kapurthala royal family, Kaur was a prominent Gandhian and began living in Gandhi’s ashram in 1934. She was his secretary for sixteen years. Her private papers are a part of the archives at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.