Hena Das played a leading role in organising women in the http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/N_0046.htm)">Nankar peasant movement in Sylhet in the 1940s and early 1950s. Later she worked with female tea garden workers in the struggle to form trade unions and labour rights. She had played important roles in almost every progressive and democratic movement in Bangladesh and led many struggles establishing the rights of women in a deeply patriarchal society. An excerpt of her recollections around Bhasha Andolan and its relevance today can be read here.
Hena Das was an ardent member of the Communist Party, Bangladesh Teachers' Committee and Bangladesh Mohila Porishad.right from the start. She was in Kolkata during the war. On her way to Kolkata, she delivered speeches in campaigns for suppport for the Liberation War at women's meetings. Her main work was with refugee teachers. A Bangladesh Teachers' Committee was formed comprising teachers from all levels in Kolkata. Fifty camp schools were set up and Hena was in charge of running the schools. Since the Headquarters of the Communist Party was located in Kolkata, she was very much part of the party's activities. She was constantly on the move until May 1, 1971, at different places in Narayanganj, in the fear that she might get caught. There were some people who risked their lives to keep in touch with her in those uncertain days. One of her well-wishers was her teacher Nurul Amin, who was later brutally killed by the Pakistan army. Hena was aggrieved by her teacher's death. But as Hena Das recalled in an interview, she had to deal with the loss of many people who were close to her in 1971, especially the killing of her students and their parents.
A detailed account of her life and times through her reminiscences is available at the oral history archives of the International Institute of Social History in their collection on Communist, Peasant and Labour Movements of Bangladesh and India which has oral records of 40 interviews with leaders of the Communist, Peasant, Labour and Cultural Movements of Bangladesh and India.
She authored a number of books that include Amar Shikkha O Shikkhokota Jibon, Sritimoy Dingulo, Smritimoy Ekattor, Pancham Purush and Char Purusher Kahini.
The Communist Party of Bangladesh and its mass organisations observed a national day of mourning on the death of Comrade Hena Das. Diverse organisations linked to the progressive and democratic movement in Bangladesh have mourned the loss. As Hameeda Hossain, a noted Human Rights activist belonging to South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) stated:
"She was a source of inspiration for all of us in South Asia who was engaged in the movements for social change, democracy and human rights,”
Pragoti joins many others in the Left Democratic movement in saluting and remembering this courageous fighter and comrade whose life of activism informed by Marxist Feminist praxis was a living example of the inter-connectedness of the collective struggles of different sections of the oppressed towards the goal of universal emancipation from exploitation.