Savitribai Jyotirao Phule was a prominent social reformer who played an instrumental role in women's education and empowerment in times when India was ruled over by the Britishers. Born on January 3, 1831, today marks the 187th birth anniversary of the great educationist. At a time when education was restricted to girls and women, she found the first girl's school in Pune at Bhide Wada, with the help of her husband Jyotirao Phule. Along with educating girls, she constantly fought for the rights of women. She is called as the first lady teacher of India. She spoke against child marriages, the practice of Sati and also advocated widow remarriage. Know Facts About Savitribai Phule The Pioneer of Women's Education Movement in India.
She was born in Naigaon in Satara and was married off early. She was married at the age of 9 to Jyotirao Phule. Both husband and wife were actively involved in social reform and strived for the betterment of the society. She started the first school in Pune in the year 1848. While she taught she also spoke against caste discrimination and the practice of untouchability. She caught children from different castes, thus promoting equality amongst all. By 1852, she had opened more 2 schools for children from other castes.
Savitribai was one of the leading faces of social reform in the state of Maharashtra. So much so that in November 1852, the British government honoured the Phule family for their contributions to education and she was named as the best teacher. Over the years, Savitribai continued with dedication and opened about 18 schools, all inclusive to children from all castes. For not just the children, they also started a night school so that the elder members of the family could work in the fields and attend school at night.
Savitribai's efforts were very important for a society to progress. Each year on Savitribai Phule Jayanti, some schools and colleges organise honorary programmes to talk about the efforts taken by the great social reformer. At some places, girls who have achieved something in the year are awarded and encouraged.