Savitribai Phule : India’s first woman teacher

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• Savitribai Phule was a 19th-century social reformer who worked to improve women’s schooling. Her input was based on things like truth, equality, and humanity, which are all rational and human reasons.

• On January 3, 1831, Savitribai Phule was born in the Satara area of Maharashtra at Naigaon.She was the oldest daughter of Lakshmi and Khandoji Neveshe Patil. Both of them were from the Mali group, which is now known as an Other Backward Caste (OBC).

• At age 9, she got married to Jyotirao Phule, who was only 13.Jyotirao Phule, who was better known by his nickname Jyotiba, was also a social reformer who tried to help educate women. After they got married, Jyotirao taught Savitribai at home.

• On March 10, 1897, Savitribai Phule died while taking care of a patient at the clinic she had started to help people with the bubonic plague.

Social Work and Its Impact

• In the 19th century, public education was limited, and there were only a few “open to all” religious schools. In 1848, Jyotiba, who was 21 at the time, and Savitri, who was 17, started a school for women.

It was the first school for women in the country that was started by an Indian. She also studied to become a teacher at an institute in Ahmednagar run by an American missionary and at Pune’s Normal School. She then started teaching girls in Pune’s Maharwada. By the end of 1851, the Phules were running three schools in Pune with about 150 girl students. People thought that their schools taught better than government schools, so soon more girls than boys went to Phule’s schools.

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• Jyotiba and Savitri Bai moved out of their family home in 1849 because their actions were against the rules of society.

They stayed with a friend, Usman Sheikh, and his family. That’s where Savitribai met Fatima Begum Sheikh.

Fatima Sheikh and Savitribai both went to Normal School and finished at the same time. She was India’s first teacher who was a Muslim woman.

• In the 1850s, a couple named Phule started two educational trusts. These were the Native Female School, Pune and The Society for Promoting the Education of Mahars, Mangs, and Others, and they grew to include many schools.

• In 1854, she put out Kavya Phule. In 1892, she put out Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar. In her song “Go, Get Education,” she tells people who are being mistreated to get an education and break free.

• Savitribai started the Mahila Seva Mandal in 1852 to bring attention to the rights of women. Savitribai called for a meeting of women where people from all castes were welcome and everyone sat on the same mattress. She also campaigned against child marriage and for widow remarriage at the same time. In 1863, she and Jyotirao opened a home for the protection of pregnant Brahman widows who were being abused and to care for their children. Jyotirao died in 1890. She broke all the rules by starting the fire at his funeral.

• After Jyotiba died in 1890, Savitribai kept the organisation Satya Shodhak Samaj going. In 1893, she also led the group’s yearly meeting in Saswad.

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In 1873, she started the first Satyashodhak marriage, which was the first one without a dowry, Brahmin priests, or Brahmin ceremonies. Her foster son Yashwant also married outside of his caste. This is called a Satyashodhak marriage.Her accomplishments were many and varied, but they all did one thing: they challenged the caste system and sexism in a brave and innovative way.

Satya Shodhak Samaj (Truth Seekers Society)

Satya Shodhak Samaj, also known as the Truth Seekers Society, was started by Jyotiba Phule on September 24, 1873, in Pune, Maharashtra.It was a group that worked to improve the lives of Dalits, Shudras, and women in Maharashtra. Its main goal was to help Dalits, Shudras, and women get a better education and more social rights and government access.

Savitribai, who was married to Jyotiba Phule, used to run the social events for the women’s group.