Savitribai Phule Death Anniversary: India’s first woman teacher, Savitribai Phule was one of the most remarkable figures in the nation’s history. She was an Indian social reformer, poet, and educationalist who breathed her last on March 10, 1897, battling the bubonic plague and leaving behind a legacy of courage, resilience, and compassion. Her contributions to the Indian social reform movement and the struggle for women’s rights continue to inspire people today. Famously known as India’s first modern feminist, Phule was India’s first female teacher. But who was she? Where was she from? Let’s have a look at her life.
Savitribai Phule Death Anniversary: Here Are 10 Facts About India’s First Teacher
Savitribai Phule Birth
Born on January 3, 1831, in Naigaon, Maharashtra, Savitribai Phule was married at the age of nine to Jyotirao Phule, a social reformer and activist. Her husband, who was a progressive thinker, recognized the importance of education and women’s empowerment in the struggle for social equality.
Savitribai Phule Education
Savitribai Phule was the first woman in Maharashtra to receive a formal education, and she used her knowledge to educate and empower women from all walks of life. Savitribai learned reading and writing and soon started teaching girls in Maharashtra’s Maharwada, Pune. She started teaching girls with Sagunabai who was her husband’s mentor.
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Savitribai Phule Revolutionary Step
She opened a school for girls in Pune at Bhide Wada in 1848, which was a revolutionary step in a society that did not allow women to learn to read and write. The school was initially met with opposition and hostility, but Savitribai persisted in her mission to provide education to girls and women. The curriculum included maths, science, and social studies. By 1851, Savitribai along with her husband Jyotiroa Phule was running three schools in Pune. Despite societal constraints, approximately 150 girls were gaining education from them.
Savitribai Phule Prominent Contribution To Indian Society
Throughout her life, Savitribai worked tirelessly to fight against social evils such as caste discrimination, child marriage, and the exploitation of women. She wrote poetry and prose that highlighted the struggles of women and the need for social reform. Her writings and speeches inspired many people and played a crucial role in the Indian social reform movement.
Savitribai Phule’s Fight Against Social Evils
Savitribai Phule was also an advocate for women’s rights and played a significant role in the fight for suffrage. She fought against dowry and social evils that came in the way of women’s empowerment.
She and her husband Jyotirao Phule founded the Satyashodhak Samaj in 1873, which was an organization that worked for the upliftment of the lower castes and women. She was also a part of the Indian National Congress and actively participated in the freedom struggle.
Savitribai Phule Taught Children From Downtrodden Castes
Savitribai Phule also started teaching children from backward castes including Mang and Mahar (who were considered untouchables). Savitribai Phule with her husband established two educational trusts – the Native Female School, Pune, and the Society for Promoting the Education of Mahars, Mangs along with opening up schools for children from different castes.
Savitribai Phule Achievements
– Savitribai Phule along with her husband was honoured by the British government in 1852 for their contribution towards education.
– She also wrote two books which are compilations of her poems.
– In 1855, the couple started a night school for farmers and labourers.
– In 1863, Jyotirao and Savitribai started the first-ever infanticide prohibition home in India called Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha – which helped pregnant Brahmin widows and rape victims deliver children.
– Savitribai organised a barbers’ strike in Mumbai and Pune to protest the custom of shaving the heads of widows.
Savitribai Phule Children
Savitribai and Jyotirao never had any children. But they later adopted a son and named him Yashwantrao.
Savitribai Phule Death
Savitribai Phule passed away on March 10, 1897, at the age of 66, battling the bubonic plague. She left behind a legacy of courage, resilience, and compassion.