Who was Savitribai Phule?


10:42 AM

1 min read
Who was Savitribai Phule? Blog Image


Every year on January 3rd, India celebrates a special day called Savitribai Phule Jayanti.

About Savitribai Phule

  • Born in a small village in Satara district of Maharashtra on January 3, 1831, Savitribai Phule was an Indian social reformer, poet, and powerful voice in the Indian freedom struggle.
  • She was an active participant in the women's liberation movement.
  • Savitribai trained at Ms. Farar's Institution in Ahmednagar and at Ms. Mitchell's school in Pune to become the first female teacher in India.
  • Savitribai Phule and her husband, Jyotirao Phule (one of the most famous social reformers in Maharashtra), opened India's first school for women in Pune in 1848. 
  • Despite resistance from society, by 1851, Phule was running 18 schools for children of different castes, with a strength of 150 girls.
  • They also established two educational trusts: the Native Female School, Pune, and the Society for Promoting the Education of Mahars, Mangs, and others from downtrodden castes.
  • In 1852, the British government acknowledged the great work of the Phule family in the field of education and honored Savitribai by naming her the best teacher.
  • She, along with her husband, Jyotirao Phule, actively worked against the caste-based discrimination prevalent in society. 
  • She played a crucial role in grooming Jyotirao Phule’s pioneering institution, Satyashodhak Samaj (1873) that fought for equality of all classes.
  • In 1852, she initiated the Mahila Seva Mandal, a platform aimed at creating awareness about women’s rights. Notably, this platform brought together members of all castes, challenging entrenched social hierarchies.
  • Savitribai Phule was a vocal advocate for the rights of widows. She campaigned against the prevailing customs that forced widows into a life of deprivation and for the right of widows to remarry.
  • Savitribai organized a barbers' strike in both Mumbai and Pune to demonstrate their opposition to the practice of shaving the heads of widows.
  • Savitribai also fought against dowry and other oppressive social customs.
  • In 1863, Jyotirao and Savitribai began Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha, India's first home prohibiting infanticide, helping pregnant Brahmin widows and rape victims.
  • Savitribai Phule wrote two books, Kavya Phule in 1854 and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar in 1892, which are collections of her poems.
  • She wrote the famous poem 'Go Get Education' to encourage backward and oppressed class people to get an education.
  • Her birth anniversary, celebrated as Savitribai Phule Jayanti, is a day to commemorate her legacy and contributions to education and social equality.

Q1) What is Satyashodhak Samaj?

Satyashodhak Samaj was founded with a purpose to give education to the lower castes. Scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and made them aware of the exploiting tradition of society. It was founded by Jyotirao Phule in 1873 in Pune by keeping certain thoughts and ideas in mind like ideals of human well-being, happiness, unity and equality. 

Source: Savitribai Phule Jayanti: Celebrating the lady who lit the lamp of learning