Today is the 200th birth anniversary of educator and social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. He contributed to the growth of the Indian education and advocated empowerment of women.
Chief Minister of Manipur N Biren Singh, in his tribute to Vidyasagar on his birth anniversary, tweeted that his ideas and vision brought transformation and revolution in the society. He also added that Vidyasagar continues to inspire millions across the world.
My tribute to one of India's greatest social reformer, #IshwarChandraVidyasagar ji on his birth anniversary. Through his vison, ideas & sacrifice he brought transformation and revolution in the society.His legacy will always continue to inspire millions across the world. pic.twitter.com/0xZb7K6QE8— N.Biren Singh (@NBirenSingh) September 26, 2020
Let us take a look at some of the ideas of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar that helped women and students.
Access to education for oppressed castes
Vidyasagar belonged to an upper-caste community of Bengal that had restricted access to education for people belonging to oppressed castes. But when he became the principal of Sanskrit College in 1846, he went against the practiced norm and admitted students from oppressed castes to study Sanskrit.
Stand against child marriage
The eminent educator also challenged the conservative custom of child marriage where kids were married to each other and the girl child was sent away to live together with the boy’s family at a tender age. In March 1891, the then British government abolished child marriage.
Promoted rights for women
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a strong advocate of women’s rights. He ferociously campaigned against the practice of sati. He also spoke against the mistreatment of women in the Indian society and asked for the legalisation of widow remarriage.
Advocate of girls’ education
He promoted education among girls when it was not an acceptable idea in the society. In order to promote education among girls, he established around 30 schools exclusively for them in the state of Bengal.
Worked for welfare or tribes
The reformist spent his last 18 years with the Santhal tribe in the state of Jharkhand. In order to cater to the medical needs of the tribe, he started a homeopathy clinic. He also established the first school for Santhal girls.