Maa Savitri Bai Fule, a name which we Indians have forgotten and the rest of the world rarely know about it. Today I want to discuss about this great personality, who was born on Jan 03, 1831 and was revolting and fighting for the right to education for women till her last breath on Mar 10, 1897. She was a great social reformer and poet as well, born in a small village of Naigaon, Satara Distt. Maharashtra, India.
We Indians must be proud of and grateful to her because the half population of India i.e. women of India are able to study because of the efforts she started making at the first hand. She was the first female teacher and mother of Indian feminism in the real terms. Also, the rest of the world must know about her, since we have a lot to learn from her. She along with her husband Sree Jyotiba Fule had played a crucial role in raising voice for the rights of women in India. They together founded India’s first ever Girl’s school, in Pune in 1848. They have struggled for abolition of the discriminatory practices in the name of caste and gender.
She was born to Mrs Lakshmi and Khandoji Neveshe Patil and married to Mr Fule at the age of around 9. They had no child of their own but they are said to be adopted a son of a widow from different caste for a reason. Because of the birth in a so called lower caste and being a woman Mrs Fule was not allowed to go to school, therefore she was not educated till the time of her marriage but later her husband helped her in studies at home, who was also forced to leave the school due to his caste but then he got admission in a Scottish Missionary School. And Mrs Fule has also got enrolled for two teachers’ training programs, though it is said that she was not able to complete any due to the undue social pressure, then she finally started opposing this practice and started educating girls and children from the so called lower castes, who were forbidden to go to school. Because the so called upper caste people had a fear that if these kids will get educated then they will be able to understand their fraudulent religious books and they may not have any fear so they will no more remain their servants.
We have a lot to know about these great personalities and it is all available on the internet but here i want to post it to let my lovely readers know the reason that why should we read about her. So first school started by them was with Mrs Sagunabai, another revolutionary feminist. The curriculum at first Bhide Wada School, Pune included traditional western curriculum of mathematics, science, and social studies. By 1851 they were running three girls’ schools in Pune, with almost a hundred and fifty girl students. For every step they took, they had to go through much resistance due to the narrow and conservative ideology, prevalent that time and the dominant male chauvinism.
She used to carry an extra Saree (dress) to her school because the trolls of that times i.e. the anti social elements, used to pelt her with mud or dung or stones on the way, along with verbal abuse, to stop her from breaking the caste and gender barriers, and to punish her for educating the marginalized and suppressed class of people and gender. We need to remember that her resistance, without fearing for her life, paved the way for us to get opportunity to get educated. We must not take the education and her efforts for granted. This is high time when especially we Indians must take step forward to save our education system and we must make sure that such great personalities are not out of our curriculum, so that our coming generations can be proud of them and can learn from their endeavors.
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