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Savitribai Phule 122nd Death Anniversary: All about first female school teacher and crusader for women empowerment

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 March 2019, 15:11 IST

On March 10, it is 122nd Death Anniversary of Savitribai Phule. Born on January 3, 1831, Savitribai was a leading reformer f the 19th century, is often considered as India's first woman teacher. Savitribai Phule was a female activist, poet and crusader for women empowerment, married to ocial activist Jyotirao Phule at the young age of nine.

Savitribai Phule broke the stereotypes such as inter-caste marriages and caste-gender discrimination in Indian society. Just like Savitribai, her husband Jyotirao Phule was equally dedicated towards the welfare of the society and pioneered and fought for the girl education.

Some interesting unknown facts of Savitribai Phule:

  • Savitri Bai Phule is said to be the first teacher of India. She achieved this honour when it was a far-fetched thing for women to get an education. An era when girls were not allowed to get out of their house.
  • When Savitri Bai used to go to school for study, people used to stone her, even criticize her husband Jyotirao Phule for the same. Even though they overcome every difficulty. Jyotirao also supported her in fighting for education rights for girls.
  • Savitribai Phule, together with her husband, opened a girls' school in Pune in 1848. This is considered the first school of girls in the country.
  • Savitribai and Jyotirao Phule opened 18 schools in the country. Well, the British East India Company also honoured her contribution. The school was open for the girls of all races.
  • Savitribai Phule had to face several criticisms from the women in Pune for her initiative to educate girls. Savitribai also opened the well of her house for the Dalits.
  • Savitribai also opened a shelter for pregnant widows, where they could deliver their child. By that time, upper castes widows getting pregnant was a big stigma and therefore they often used to abandon their child.
  • During that era, it was a tradition to shave heads of widows. Savitribai raised the voice against this inhuman practice. To fight against this practice, Savitribai protested against barbers from shaving women's head.
  • After her husband Jyotiba Phule’s death, who was later being known as Mahatma Phule, Savitribai took over his work of Satyashodhak Samaj and continued his work of social welfare.
  • While taking care of patients during the 3rd global pandemic of the bubonic plague, Savitribai contracted the disease and passed away on March 10, 1897.
  • In 2015, as a tribute to Savitribai Phule, the University of Pune (UP) was renamed as Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).

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First published: 10 March 2019, 15:04 IST