Categories: Herstory

SAVITRIBAI PHULE – AN ARDENT ACTIVIST

Only there are some people, from all the inhabitants on this earth, who dare to face obstacles and defeat it with the greater courage. And the rest is handy in taking other tracks, either becoming a victim of it or getting away from it with lame excuses. Savitribai Phule, who is well known as an Indian Social reformer and mother of Indian feminism, stands away from casual integrities and has made her major part to change the society especially in favor of female who was enslaved to follow restricted rules and low caste people who were highly dominated by the Brahmins.

The first pages of the life of Savitribai had begun to torture the casual life of her. She was not allowed to continue her primary studies; she had to get married at a very early stage. Thereafter Savitribai Couraged herself to stand against such dominations and she began to free all those who were victim to such cruelties.

Savitribai’s husband Jyotirao educated her at their home. After completing her studies, For the further educations, Savitribai Studied with the responsibilities of her husband’s friends Salaharam Yeshwanth Paranjpe and Kesav Shivram Bhavalkar. She was also further studied two teacher training programs, after completing which Savitribai Phule started teaching girls at the Maharwada in Pune.

Savitribai Phule first started her feminist activisms with the revolutionary feminist activist Sagunabai. Soon after Savitribai and her husband Jyotirao along with Sagunabai started their first school at Bhide Wada. Not so long, in 1851, Savitribai and Juyotirao were running three different schools where almost one hundred and fifty students enrolled. The teaching method in which Savitribai taught the students was superior to those of teaching methods in Government schools. In a less period, the joining of students outnumbered the enrolment in those Government schools. The Sudra community, at that time, was considered to be a very low-caste community, and the students were prohibited to have an education. The Phules’ school kindly allowed the Sudra community students and encouraged them to have an education. Therefore the works of Savitribai and Jyotirao were labeled to be “evil” by the government. Until then, the couples were staying at the house of Jyotirao’s father who insisted he leave the house since the couples’ works were described as “sin” in the Brahminical texts.

Savitribai and Jyotirao moved to one of Jyothiraos’s friends Usman Sheik’s home. Usman Sheik’s spouse Fatima Sheik was very motivated and curious to get educated whom Savitribai taught education and teacher training. Then, Savitribai, Jyotirao, and Fatima Sheik started their school in 1849. Fatima Sheik was the first Muslim women teacher.

The couples carried their teaching journey in all the way possible and they encouraged all the different caste students to get educated. Further improving their social services in helping the poor students to get educated, Savitribai, and Jyotirao administrated 18 schools where all the students from rural areas enrolled. The couples, also, opened a Care Centre named “Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha” where all the “Child-Killing” victims were assisted pregnant rape victims and they helped to deliver the child and to have a better life.

The plague was one of the toxic flu that snatched life in the rural area at the end of the 19th century. Savitribai and her adopted son Yashwant opened a clinic to recover people from the third pandemic of the bubonic plague in 1897.

Savitribai was a versatile revolutionary writer. She has published a bunch of poems, titled, Kavy Phule in 1854 and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar in 1892. All her literature works identified Savitribai as an ardent feminist. Savitribai was also an anti-infanticide activist. Infanticide was one of the dominant cruelties that were strictly followed by rural families. Savitribai rescued the infanticide children-victim and opened a home for the prevention of infanticide. At the infanticide prevention home, Brahmin women were safely delivered their child and left them there to be adopted upon their wish. Savitribai also marched against child marriage and she was a well-known advocate for widow remarriage.

Savitribai made a heroic attempt to save his son from contracting the plague when Yashwant was about affected by his plague-infected friend. As a result of this heroic action, Savitribai got infected by the plague and flew onto from earth at 9.00 pm on the 10th March of 1897.

By: Martin

Yuvathi

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