“I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” ....Eleanor Roosevelt
Savitribai Jyotirao Phule (3 January 1831 to 10 March 1897), an Indian social reformer and poet is considered an important personality of the of the Social Reform Movement in Maharashtra. Working with her husband, Jyotirao Phule, who initially trained her as a teacher, she emphasized the values of women's education and improving women's rights in India during British rule. At that time women were confined to their hearth and home and they never stepped out of their family living space.
Born in 1831 in Naigaon, Maharashtra, Saviribhai, as a teacher, continued to teach the girls and earned the wreath of the local people from the orthodox section. Her husband taught and trained his wife as a teacher. Jyotirao Phule, reformer, wanted many female teachers for his social works. Unmindful of protests from his close relatives, including his in-laws, he sent his wife to the teacher training school for proper training. On completion of her training, in Pune she opened a school in 1948 for girl at a time when women 's education was an anathema. Her initial enrollment was low, just nine girls from different castes.
must wear a simple odd-color sari with head well covered. Besides they were not allowed to participate in any Mangala Karyams (auspicious activities) at home and frequently referred to as Amangali. Further, people going out on an important work for the first time would avoid widows. Seeing them, it is believed, was a bad omen. I myself saw my grandma and other relatives suffer silently in the remote village Agraharams near Kumbakonam and Thanjavur. Till her death, a widow had to lead a life of a hermit with out happiness. Simply, it was a wretched life for an Indian widow. On the contrary, widowers never had any restrictions and could remarry without any roadblocks. This conspicuous gender disparity in the various Hindu communities was very much deep-rooted.
Savitribai Phule was honored by the British government for her superb contribution to woman's education. In 1852 Jyotiba and Savitribai were felicitated by the government for their sustained and dedicated efforts in the field of education.
When the world wide Pandemic bubonic plague struck India in 1897, in Pune Savaitribai helped the affected people along with her adopted son and in the process contracted the dreadful disease and died on 10 March 1897.
Phule took the honor of being the first female teacher in a school in India and encouraged women's education and welfare.Women's education and their liberation were her priority which, she thought, would break the cultural shackles in a male-dominated society, at a time when feminism meant nothing in Indian culture She was one of the most important personalities in India whose sacrifices and daring clarion call against injustice to women slowly changed the social scenario of the Indian women in the later decades.