Norah Richards was born on 29 October 1876 in Ireland. He received his formal education from Belgium, Oxford University, and Sydney. Nora Richards is also known as Lady Gregory of Punjab. Nora came on the stage at a young age and became a successful actress. She came to Punjab in 1911. and in 1914 produced the first Punjabi play, Dulhan, written by his disciple IC Nanda. Richards was an Irish-born actress and theater businesswoman. In 1970, Punjabi University, Patiala awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contribution to Punjabi culture, especially Punjabi drama.
Norah Richards Personal Life and Career
Nora was married to Philip Ernest Richards, a teacher of English literature at Dayal Singh College, Lahore. Nora Richards became involved in cultural activities in college and her enthusiasm helped encourage serious theatrical pursuits. Lahore was considered the home of Punjabi culture in those days. She was interested in theosophy and was actively involved in the Theosophical movement and the Home-rule movement by Dr. Annie Besant. Nora returned to England after her husband’s death in 1920.
And she again came back to India in 1924. A resident of Kangra Himachal Pradesh left for England and gave all his property to Nora. Which came to be known as Woodlands Estate. Nora spent her life living among the villagers and built a mud house with a thatched roof. Which was named Chameli Niwas. He is said to have owned a property of 15 acres. Which was covered with beautiful tall trees and wildflowers.
Nora opened a school of drama that produced many famous names in Punjabi drama like Ishwar Chand Nanda, Dr. Harcharan Singh, Balwant Gargi, and Gurcharan Singh. Every year, in the month of March, Nora organizes a week-long festival in which students and villagers perform his plays in an open-air theater built on his property. Nora’s plays were on social reform, showing broad sympathy for the customs and traditions of the people. A young Bhabesh Chandra Sanyal discusses Nora Richards in detail in his autobiography. In the waning days of her life, she depended on her attendants for meager food and a glass of water. And she died on 3 March 1971.