We salute Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule on her 186th Birth anniversary (3 Jan 1831 – 10 Mar 1897).
EDUCATIONIST, REFORMER, POETESS
A WOMEN OF THE PAST, WHO PAVED WAY FOR THE PRESENT,
BY EMBODYING THE FUTURE.
Savitribai Phule a true feminist who worked towards abolishing discrimination and unfair treatment of people based on Religion, Caste, Race and Gender. She who became South Asia’s first female teacher back in the 19th Century. Also a champion of the rights of the voiceless, the destitute & the marginalized.
Pioneer of Women’s Education in India. Crusader of Women’s Equality and Progress.Savitribai Phule was one of the first and greatest social reformers of modern India.She became a beacon of hope at a time when women were denied equality in various spheres of life. More than 150 years ago, she along with Mahatma Jyotirao Phule launched a movement against the then decadent social order. For the first time in the history of India, a girl from any caste or community could learn to read and write.
- Girls Education
Common Schools for Girls from all castes and communities
Abolition of child marriage
Opposition to female foeticde
Special Houses for prevention of Infanticide
Equity and Social Justice for the downtrodden and orphans
Opened water tanks for Untouchables
Savitribai fought against orthodoxy. Her long and difficult struggle against social injustice, inequality caste bias, and patriarchy became the foundation of women’s social progress in India. Savitribai lost her life serving patients in a plague epidemic in Pune. Savitribai Phule is the embodiment of Gender Equality and Social Justice. She was and remains India’s pioneer women’s rights Activist.
She struggled and suffered with her revolutionary husband in an equal measure, but remains obscured due to casteist and sexist negligence. Apart from her identity as Jyotirao Phule’s wife, she is little known even in academia. Modern India’s first woman teacher, a radical exponent of mass and female education, a champion of women’s liberation, a pioneer of engaged poetry, a courageous mass leader who took on the forces of caste and patriarchy certainly had her independent identity and contribution. It is indeed a measure of the ruthlessness of elite-controlled knowledge-production that a figure as important as Savitribai Phule fails to find any mention in the history of modern India. Her life and struggle deserves to be appreciated by a wider spectrum, and made known to non-Marathi people as well.
Rationally thinking people will definitely question, how could it be possible that the name of such a legend (Savitribai Phule) is omitted from the history books, when names like Jhansi ki Rani; Lakshmibai and names of wives and ‘girl-friends’ of Gandhi-Nehru family are given in history books?
Women of the Indian society are not aware of the greatness of Savitribai Phule, who dared to pursue the noble profession of teaching in the ‘Dark Age’. The time when women were mere objects-to-be-used, education for women was considered no less than a punishable crime; she dared to speak against the unpardonable boundaries imposed on women in Indian society, she ignited millions lives, for which today’s women and everyone should be grateful to her. Isn’t it enough for us to celebrate ‘Teachers’ Day’ on Savitribai Phule’s birthday? Celebrating ‘Teachers’s Day’ on Savitribai Phule’s birthday will be a good attempt on Government’s part for women’s empowerment or at-least to show it’s concern for women’s social status.
Open letters to The Minister of Human Resources Development, Government of India & The Prime Minister of India.
On this occasion we are demanding The Minister of Human Resources Development, Government of India & The Prime Minister of India the following.
1. Celebrate Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule’s Birth Anniversaries officially as we celebrate those of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Swami Vivekananda.
2. Declare 3rd January, the birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule as Women Teacher’s Day of India.
3. Include the life history and activities of Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule in schools and colleges as a part of curriculum.
4. Establish academic chairs and research centers in honour of Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule to disseminate their thought and ideology.
We will spread her ideology and take forward the legacy of Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule
Tata Sivaiah is president, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule & Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Educational Circle, Hyderabad Central University, Hyderabad.