The path-breaking social reformer who gave birth to women-empowerment in India, Savitribai Phule, was born on January 3, 1831. As we celebrate her 192nd birthday today, in a society where crimes against women still rule the charts, remembering the India’s first female teacher and social worker whose husband was her greatest inspiration deserves our thoughts and prayers on the Savitribai Phule Birth Anniversary.
Early Life of Savitribai Phule
Born in Satara, Maharashtra in the Mali community which falls under the OBC (Other Backward Classes) in a prevalent caste-ridden community, she was married to Jyotirao Phule at the age of 9. It was her husband, who was 4 years elder than her, who took it upon himself to educate and empower her in a staunchly patriarchal society and was very much instrumental in her success.
Savitribai Phule Birth Anniversary: Stepping towards a rational society
The Life and times of Savitribai Phule revolved around the struggle to uphold the basic virtues of civilized society: – Truth, equality and humanity. It is definitely worth mentioning that the social backdrop during her times held on to a culture that prohibited women from education and the entire society was plagued by the caste system. During those times, women were subjected to untold social oppression in everyday life and it was her, who became the voice of the oppressed while encountering massive obstructions at every step. However, with the help of her husband, she started the first girl’s school in India in 1848. It was in Bhide Wada, Pune that she started the school with the help of her husband with only 9 girls and they together went on to build more than 18 schools during their lifetime. The school curriculum included subjects like Mathematics, Science and Social Science unlike the conventional education establishments that taught Brahminical texts like the Vedas and the Shastras.
Her support for Women’s Rights and dedication to the cause paved the way for the very first Mahila Seva Mandal or care center for Women for pregnant rape victims. Needless to say, she is undoubtedly the flag bearer and inspiration behind the Women empowerment movements and rights activists of modern society for which she had laid the foundations.
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