Remembering Savitribai Phule on her birth anniversary, she was born on January 3, 1831, in the village of Naigaon. In the Satara district in Maharashtra state, she was born into a farming family. At the age of 9 Savitribai Phule was married to Jyotiba Phule.
Savitri bai was the first female teacher in India. She is also known as a revolutionary feminist icon, a prominent social reformer and an educationist in India. She is remembered for her significant contribution towards women’s education and the empowerment of women in India.
Savitribai Phule opened the first school for girls in Pune in 1848
Savitribai Phule played an important role in fighting for women’s rights in India during British rule and is described as “one of the first-generation modern Indian feminists”.
Savitribai Phule is hailed as India’s one of the first modern feminist.
In the 1850s, the Phule couple started off two educational trusts –
•The Native Female School, Pune
•The Society for Promoting the Education of Mahars, Mangs and Etceteras.
She published Kavya Phule in 1854 and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar in 1892. In her poem
Go, Get Education, she urges the communities to get an education and break free from the chains of oppression.
In 1852, Savitribai started the Mahila Seva Mandal to raise awareness about women’s rights. Savitribai called for a women’s gathering where members from all castes were welcome and everybody was expected to sit on the same mattress.
She was running campaigns against child marriage, and widow remarriage.
In 1863, they started a home for the prevention of infanticide in their own house, for the safety of pregnant, exploited Brahman widows and to nurture their children.
In 1890, Jyotirao passed away. Defying all social norms, she lit his funeral pyre.
After Jyotiba’s death in 1890, Savitribai carried forward the work of the organisation Satya Shodhak Samaj.
Satya Shodhak Samaj (Truth Seekers Society)
It was founded by Jyotirao Phule in 1873 in Pune.
Satya shodhak samaj was founded with the purpose of giving education to the lower castes, scheduled castes, and scheduled tribes and making them aware of the exploited tradition of society.
Her adopted son, Yashwant, had a Satyashodhak inter-caste marriage.
Her achievements were diverse and numerous,
Savitribai and her son, Yashwant, opened a clinic to treat those affected by the worldwide Third Pandemic of the bubonic plague.
Savitribai died a heroic death trying to save the son of Pandurang Babaji Gaekwad.
Savitribai was subject to intense harassment every day as she walked to school. Stones, mud and dirt were flung at her as she passed. She was often abused by groups of men with orthodox beliefs who opposed education for women. Filth, including cow dung, was flung at her.
Among all these, they made an epic revolution for women and left their powerful impact behind us.
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