India/January, 03, 2022/Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/
Savitribai Phule was the first female teacher, a modern feminist, and a social reformer of India. She had the revolutionary flame to take forward women’s education for the upliftment of women in the field of education and literacy. She, along with her husband, was comrades in arms in the struggle to educate women. Her birth anniversary is a significant day for all the women who are being educated in this generation as the fire was started by Krantiveer Savitribai Phule.
Savitribai Phule Jayanti 2022: History and personal life
Savitribai Phule was born on January 03, 1831, at Naigaon, Maharashtra. She was a child bride to the activist and social reformer Jyotirao Phule. The support from her husband led her to read, write and establish India’s first school for girls, called Bhide Wada in Pune in the year 1848.
They both believed that education was the only medium for empowering the depressed class and women to stand out equally with the rest of society.
She was known as the ‘Crusaders of gender justice’.She completed her teaching training at an institute called American Missionaries in Ahmednagar and Pune’s Normal School.
Savitribai Phule Jayanti 2022: Her impact on society
At a time when education was limited and had very few missionary schools to be opened for all. At the ages of 21 and 17, both Jyotiba and Savitri opened schools for women in 1848. It was the first initiative by Indians to open schools for women’s education.
In the year 1849, Jyotiba and Savitri left their home as their work towards women’s education was considered against society by their own family members.
They both stayed in Usman Sheikh’s house where she met Fatima Begum Sheikh, who was the first Muslim woman teacher of India.
The Phule couple began two educational trusts i.e., the Native Female School, Pune, and The Society for Promoting the Education of Mahar’s, Mangs, and Etceteras in 1850.
By 1851, the duo started three schools in Pune with 150 girls students. Their teaching techniques were better than in the government schools and later the number of girls educated was higher compared to the boys in the government schools.
She had a fire for the importance of education which she penned down in her books. Her books of poems were Kavya Phule and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar, which were published in 1854 and 1892 respectively. In her poem, she urged the oppressed classes to get educated and break the chain of oppression.
Savitribai Phule Jayanti 2022: Social Reforms
Savitribai initiated Mahila Seva Mandal to create awareness of women’s rights in 1852. Equality prevailed and members of all castes were made to sit on the same mattress.
She also led a campaign against child marriage and also supported widow remarriage.
In 1863, a home for the prevention of infanticide in their own house for the safety of pregnant exploited Brahman widows and nurturing their children began.
After the demise of Jyotirao in 1890, defying social norms, she lit her husband’s funeral pyre.
The death of her partner didn’t stop Savitribai, she carried forward the work of the organization Satya Shodhak Samaj and chaired the annual session held at Saswad in 1893.
She also initiated the first Satyashodhak marriage, where the marriage involved no dowry, Brahmin priests, or Brahminical rituals, in 1873.
Even her adopted son Yashwant, did Satyashodhak, an inter-caste marriage.
Docente - Investigadora Educativa.
Doctora en Cs. de la Educación, Magíster en Desarrollo Curricular y Licenciada en Relaciones Industriales.