Today is the 187th birth anniversary of goddess of education and symbol of women empowerment Savitribai Jyotirao Phule.
Savitribai Jyotirao Phule was a prominent social reformer who played an active role in women’s education and empowerment in times when India was ruled over by the Britishers.
Born on January 3, 1831, today marks the 187th birth anniversary of the great educationist. At a time when education was restricted to girls and women, she established the first girl’s school in Pune at Bhide Wada, with the help of her husband Jyotirao Phule. Along with educating girls, she constantly fought for the rights of women. She is called as the first lady teacher of India. She spoke against child marriages, the practice of Sati and also advocated widow remarriage.
Here are some of the known Facts about Savitribai Phule The Pioneer of Women’s Education Movement in India.
She was born in Naigaon in Satara and got married early. She was married at the age of 9 to Jyotirao Phule. Both husband and wife were actively involved in social reform and strived for the betterment of the society. She started the first school in Pune in the year 1848. While she taught she also spoke against caste discrimination and the practice of untouchability. She taught children from different castes, thus promoting equality amongst all. By 1852, she had opened more 2 schools for children from other castes.
Savitribai was one of the leading faces of social reform in the state of Maharashtra. So much so that in November 1852, the British government honored the Phule family for their contributions to education and she was named as the best teacher. Over the years, Savitribai continued with dedication and opened about 18 schools, all inclusive to children from all castes. For not just the children, they also started a night school so that the elder members of the family could work in the fields and attend school at night.
She made many great efforts on her own in the educational field but at the same time, she even influenced some great writers and poets who further continued to fight for women empowerment. Phule imparted education in her school to women from all the castes. Bhhimrao Ambedkar said that reformists like Savitri Bai Phule “Worked for the upliftment of the deprived class to the exploited classes, including women.”
Also to prevent the female infanticide and killing of widows and pregnant rape victims she had set up ‘Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha’. While she was treating the patients during the third global pandemic of the bubonic plague, she herself became the victim of the disease and passed away on March 10, 1897, at the age of 66.
Savitribai’s efforts were very important for a society to progress. Each year on Savitribai Phule Jayanti, some schools and colleges organize honorary programs to talk about the efforts taken by the great social reformer. At some places, girls who have achieved something in the year are awarded and encouraged.
India should give birth to more powerful women like her to bring change for better society and better future.
We are still grateful for her efforts and her acknowledgement on Women Empowerment and Women Education.
Remembering 187th birth anniversary of the First Women Social Reformer, Teacher & Principal And Poetess Savitribai Phule.
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