Savitribai Phule poet, first woman teacher,a social reformer of India

savitribai phule

Savitribai Jyotirao Phule is regarded as first lady teacher of India. She was born on 3 January 1831,  was an Indian social reformer, educationalist and poet. Along with Savitribai husband, Jyotirao Phule, she played an important role in improving women’s rights in India during British rule.

Savitri Phule founded the first girls’ school in Pune along with her husband, ran by native Indians at Bhide Wada in 1848. She worked to abolish the discrimination and unfair treatment of people based on caste and gender. She is regarded as an important figure of the social reform movement in Maharashtra.

Savitribai Phule was born in Naigaon Bombay Presidency in a farming family. She was married early in life at the age of nine,  married to twelve-year-old Jyotirao Phule in 1840. Savitribai and Jyotirao had no children of their own, but they adopted Yashavantrao, a son born to a  Brahmin widow. 

When Jyotirao Phule started the girls school in Pune in 1848, Savitribai was its first teacher. Together with her husband, she taught children from different castes and opened a total of 18 schools. The couple also opened a care centre called Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha for pregnant rape victims and helped deliver their children.

Poem-: Savitribai Phule wrote many poems against discrimination and advised people to get educated. Two books of her poems were published posthumously, Kavya Phule (1954) and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar (1982).

Savitribai memorial was created by Pune City Corporation in 1983. The University of Pune was renamed as Savitribai Phule Pune University in 2015. in 1998, a stamp was released by  India Post in honour of Phule. A Kannada movie was made on Biopic of Phule in 2018.

On 3 January 2017, the search engine Google marked the 186th anniversary of the birth of Savitribai Phule with a Google Doodle.

She along with Ambedkar and Annabhau Sathe, Phule has become an icon in particular for the Dalit Mang caste. Women in local branches of the Manavi Hakk Abhiyan (Human Rights Campaign, a Mang-Ambedkarite body) frequently organise processions on their Jayanti (birthday in Marathi and other Indian languages).


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