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Savitribai Phule Birth Anniversary: The Social Reformer from 19th Century

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Last Updated: January 03, 2020, 10:37 IST

File photo.

File photo.

In 1851, Savitribai Phule founded three schools that taught over 150 girls. Most schools at that time were only meant for those from the upper castes but Savitribai Phule and her husband started schools for ‘untouchables’.

A pioneer of advocating women’s right to education in India, Savitribai Phule’s 189th birthday is being celebrated on Friday, January 3, 2020. A revolutionary woman and a social reformer from 19th century, Savitribai Phule has a number of accomplishments to her name. She is known for her efforts towards educating women in India. She, along with her husband Jyotirao Phule, opened India's first school for women in Maharashtra’s Pune in 1848.

She helped set-up over 17 schools in the country. In 1851, she founded three schools that taught over 150 girls. Most schools at that time were only meant for those from the upper castes but Savitribai Phule and her husband started schools for ‘untouchables’.

Poetry was her passion and Savitribai Phule wrote about the importance of education in her poems. As a social reformer, she was sensitive towards the needs of women and girls. She set up a care programme for widows and fought against caste-based discrimination. Other major achievements of her include campaigns against Sati tradition, child marriage and other social evils.

Savitribai Phule was only nine when she was married to 13-year-old Jyotirao Phule. However, her husband educated her and trained her to become a teacher.

To honour the reformer for her undying efforts towards education, especially women and girls, the University of Pune was renamed Savitribai Phule University in 2014.
first published:January 03, 2020, 10:37 IST
last updated:January 03, 2020, 10:37 IST