Savitribai Phule is considered as one of the first-generation modern Indian feminists. Today (January 3) marks her 187th birth anniversary. She was modern India’s first woman teacher champion of women’s liberation and a mass leader.
She did that work which was difficult to think in that period. Born today in 1831, Savitri is considered one of the most prominent figures in social reform movement in Maharashtra.
Why we all should remember her? You owe her, but do you know her?
Savitribai Phule and her husband Jyotiba Phule did hard work to overcome women education and other social evils in society. She, along with Jyotibha, founded the first women’s school in Pune in 1848.
Another fact is that she was the first woman to become a teacher and headmistress in the whole country. The University of Pune was named Savitribai Phule University in 2014 to show her immense contribution.
Savitri was a child bride who stood up against discrimination
She was married when she was just nine to Jyotirao, who was 12 then. Savitri set up a care centre for widows and also encouraged them to remarry.
Child marriage was prevalent in the 19th century and many young girls often became widows even before attaining puberty as their body was not enough mature to conceive.
Widows used to shave their heads and live a life of austerity. Savitribai decided to fight against this practice and opened a care center for pregnant, rape victims to help deliver their children. She also raised voice for the rights of the untouchables.
She opened a clinic to treat sick people and pregnants
In 1897, Savitribai and her son Yashwantrao Gupta opened a clinic to treat the sick when a plague spread in Pune.
Unfortunately, Savitri succumbed to the disease in March the same year. The British government honored the couple in 1852 for their contribution to the welfare of women and society.
Savitribai promoted inter-caste marriages & marriages without dowry
The marriage of her adopted son is considered the first inter-caste marriage.
She throughout her life organized marriages without a priest, dowry, and at low-cost. She organized remarriages and opposed child marriages.
Google dedicated a doodle on Savitri’s 186th birth anniversary
Savitribai dedicated her entire life to poor backward people & women empowerment. Her husband also supported her a lot and he educated her to fight against casteism. Tech giant Google on 3 January 2017 honoured Savitribai Phule on the occasion of her 186th birth anniversary.
Twitter is paying tribute to her today with hashtag #SavitribaiPhule and here are some selected tweets:
My tributes to #SavitriBaiPhule, the social reformer and educationist on her birth anniversary.
She was the first modern feminist of India, who stood up for women’s education, their rights n upliftment. pic.twitter.com/dfUg7BUpKh
— Amogh Dhamale (@dhamaleamogh) January 3, 2018
Tribute to the great reformer
3rd Jan 1831: Humble tributes to India’s first women teacher #SavitribaiPhule on her birth anniversary. The great social reformer is known for her contribution in fighting unjust social discrimination. She also worked tirelessly for women’s rights and education in #Maharashtra. pic.twitter.com/2kwx8rUmDX
— MAHA INFO CENTRE (@micnewdelhi) January 3, 2018
Savitribai was a champion of women’s liberation
Modern India’s first woman teacher.. a champion of women’s liberation, mass leader who took on social evils and yet little known to all of us!! Deserves remembrace on her 187th birthday !! #savitribaiphule pic.twitter.com/oE6NMpLF1T
— uday (@udaytendulkar) January 3, 2018
Awaaz Nation pays tribute to a true social reformer with exemplary work in eradication caste discrimination, women education and widow remarriages.