Who is Savitribai Phule| Life and Achievements
Savitribai Phule is India’s first female teacher and social reformer. She was the wife of Jyotiba Phule who was considered an important figure in the social reform movement in India. She had written many poetries regarding to social reform.
She was also the first principal and first founder of the first Kisan school of India’s first school girl.
Her whole life was spent in the struggle for the rights of the deprived sections of society especially women and Dalits. She played vital role in the fight for women and their rights and also worked to prevent female infanticide.
Savitribai Phule was born on January 3, 1831, at Nagaon village in Satara, Maharashtra. At the age of nine, she was married to twelve-year-old Jyotirao Phule in 1840. Savitribai and Jyotirao had no children of their own.Her husband Jyotiba Phule was a social worker and writer.
Jyotiba Phule opened a school in 1854 to improve women’s status and identify them in society. This was the first school in the country which was opened to girls. When he did not get the teacher to teach girls, he did this work by doing his own work for a few days, making his wife Savitri eligible for this.
It is said that Yashwantrao adopted by the phule couple was the son of a Brahmin widow. She had also opened a hospital in collaboration with his son.
When Savitribai Phule went to school, people used to stone them. They used to throw dirt on them. Savitribai opened school for girls in that period when it was not considered right to teach and write to girls. Savitribai Phule was also a poetess. She was also known as Adik Vyayatri of Marathi.
When she got her marriage with Jyotiba Phule she did many social reforms and also support to prevent female infanticide. They not only campaigned but also opened the ashram for newborn girl child, so that they can be saved. Savitribai worked in conjunction with her husband in the 19th century against the customs such as touching, sati, child marriage and widow marriage prohibition.
Savitribai Phule became the first principal of the first girls’ school in India. Some people became obstacles in their work from the very beginning. But the courage of Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule did not shake and they opened three schools for girls.
She worked to abolish the discrimination and unfair treatment of people based on caste and gender. She is regarded as an important figure of the social reform movement in Maharashtra.
Savitribai Phule wrote many poems against discrimination and advised people to get educated. Two books of her poems were published posthumously, Kavya Phule (1954) and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar (1982).
During the plague epidemic in this hospital, Savitribai used to serve plague patients. Due to the service of children affected by the plague, she also got the disease, which led to her death on 10 March 1897.