Journey of Sikh princess brought to life for H&F pupils

The remarkable life of an Indian princess who battled for women’s rights was the subject of a workshop for young students.

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Beverly Andrews (left), writer and producer of the film Sophia, at Fulham Cross Academy for a screening and Q&A

The remarkable life of an Indian princess who battled for women’s rights was the subject of a workshop which proved a real education for young students.

The workshop for Years 6 to 9 was a joint venture for Fulham Cross Academy and Wendell Park primary in Shepherds Bush, helping highlight the forgotten history of women of colour.

It shone a light on Sophia Duleep Singh, a determined suffragette who lived from 1876 to 1948 and was the daughter of the last Maharaja of the Sikh empire.

Like so many women of colour in history, her story remained untold for decades, with students finally having the chance to draw inspiration from her pioneering work in Britain through a screening of Sophia, a film written and produced by Detroit-born Beverly Andrews.

The film showing on Friday (3 February) at Fulham Cross Academy in Kingwood Road, Fulham, was followed by a Q&A with the writer, and a curated session which allowed students to delve deeper into Sophia’s life, and that of other suffragettes of colour.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for our students, especially girls, to explore the forgotten history of strong women like Princess Sophia,” said Rosie Peters, co-head of Wendell Park primary.

“Princess Sophia is an individual that could easily be included in any school history curriculum – and the film would be the perfect stimulus.”

While Shanee Naidoo, assistant headteacher at Fulham Cross Academy, added: “It helped them appreciate the monumental impact of Sophia’s campaigning, inspiring them to be change-makers in our ongoing fight for equality.”

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Pictured from left to right are Rosie Peters (co-head of Wendell Park primary), Beverly Andrews (writer and producer of the film) and Shanee Naidoo (assistant headteacher at Fulham Cross Academy)

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