Monday, May 29

Savitribai Phule: First Woman Teacher In India

3rd January is very special for the women of India. This day is celebrated as National Women’s Day in India. There Is An Example Of Women Empowerment behind why Women’s Day is celebrated in India on 3rd January. India’s first female teacher was born on 3rd January 1831. The name of this great woman was Savitribai Phule. Her full name was Savitribai Jyotirao Phule because her husband was Jyotirao Govindrao Phule. Savitribai, along with her husband, has done remarkable and commendable work for women’s education and rights. She was also India’s first female teacher, social reformer, and poet. But to reach this point, Savitribai struggled a lot in her life, in which her husband supported her. Let us try to go through some aspects related to the life of Savitribai Phule today.

Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Phule

Early life

Not much is known about the childhood of Savitribai Phule. She was born in a Dalit family in Nayagaon, Satara district of Maharashtra. Savitribai’s father’s name was Khandoji Naivese, and his mother’s name was Lakshmi. At that time, boys and girls used to get married at a very young age. Savitribai Phule also got married at the age of 9 to Jyotirao Phule. Jyoti Rao Phule was also 13 at that time. Soon after marriage, she moved to Pune with her husband. At that time, women did not have the right to education. It was considered a sin for women and girls to go to school. But Savitribai was very fond of reading. Impressed by her passion for reading and learning, her husband taught her to read further. With her husband’s support and hard work, Savitribai took training to become a teacher in Pune. She became a qualified teacher.

Open a school for girls

When Savitribai Phule understood the importance of studies, she decided to open a school for girls like her. When it was considered a sin for girls to go to school, opening a separate school for girls must have been a big deal. This task was not that easy. Savitribai and her husband Jyotirao Phule founded the school for the girl child on 3rd January 1848, after fighting the opponents and difficulties of the society. That school started with nine girl students from different castes. The school opened, but the road ahead was more difficult for Savitribai.

When she went to school to teach, people used to harass her a lot on the way. When she used to leave home to teach, people threw dirt, mud, dung, and feces on her on the way. But Savitribai did not give up. She used to carry one of her sarees in her bag and, on reaching school, used to change the saree that had been dirty. And thus, Savitribai continued on her path regardless of what the people said. During her time, Savitribai was the great heroine of the whole country. He worked for the people of every religion, caste, creed.

Savitribai Phule
source: Internet

Honored by Government

Savitribai and Jyotirao Phule succeeded in opening five new schools within 1 year of opening the first girls’ school. Savitribai and her husband were honored by the then government for this work. When girls’ education was banned, it was considered a sin to teach them; at that time, Savitribai Phule studied herself and educated many more girls. Savitribai Phule, the first principal of the girl’s school, was also the founder of the Kisan School. Jyotirao Phule is known as a revolutionary in the movement of a social reformer. So, he is called Mahatma Jyotirao Phule. Savitribai and her husband worked as social reformers. Jyotirao, later known as Jyotiba, was the patron, mentor, and supporter of Savitribai.

Savitribai Phule did other Social service

Savitribai used to be very sad to see the plight of the widows of her country. So she decided to do something for the widows also. Together with her husband in 1854, she opened a shelter for widows. She accommodated many women in her shelter whose families abandoned themselves. Here she not only looked after women but also taught them so that they could do something for themselves. Savitribai Phule’s social service did not end here.

Dalits were untouchables at that time. Dalits and lower caste people were generally barr from entering the village well. This thing bothered Savitribai and Jyotirao Phule a lot. So together, they dug a well in their house for Dalits and lower caste people. In 1852, the ‘Mahila Seva Mandal’ was started, which worked to raise awareness of women about their human rights, the dignity of life, and other social issues. There were many other such works and social services which Savitribai Phule and Jyoti Rao Phule did together.

Support by Mahatma Jyotirao Phule

Whatever Savitribai did during that period was no ordinary achievement. Despite being opposed by the people of the society, she never deviated from her goal. Savitribai fought against the unforgivable limits imposed on the women’s society of India. Her husband, Jyotirao Phule, fully supported her in all her work. He used to say, “You don’t have to live just as Jyotirao Phule’s wife. You have to create your own identity. People will know you by your name, Savitribai Phule.” Savitribai Phule also used to write poems in Marathi. She was India’s first woman teacher, a revolutionary exponent of mass and women’s education, an advocate of women’s emancipation, a pioneer of busy poetry, and a courageous mass leader. A great personality like her has not been found in today’s modern era. Today’s women should be grateful to Savitribai Phule.

Savitribai Phule Died due to the Plague

Over time, Savitribai’s husband Jyotirao died in 1890. Once again, Savitribai Phule went against society and performed her husband’s last rites. At that time, the plague epidemic had engulfed the whole world’s people. Savitribai used to take care of the people suffering from the plague. During this time, she got affected by the plague after coming in contact with a plague-affected child. Savitribai died due to the plague. In this way, Savitribai Phule, An Example Of Women’s Empowerment Of India, breathed her last on 10th March 1897. After this, Women’s Day is organized in India on her birthday, paying tribute to Savitribai Phule. The women of India should also come forward like Savitribai Phule. She saves other women and girls like ourselves, who are still trapped among the evils of society. Only then will we be able to pay homage to Savitribai Phule.

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