As we clicked on the Google to start our daily dose of Research work, Google welcomed us with their Doodle of the day, of a women wearing a drape over the head and red horizontal line holding a community in both of her arms, clicking on it answered our query, 3rd of January is the Birthday of the first Feminist of India, SavitriBai Jyotirao Phule. Thus, Google is honoring her today on her 186th birthday for struggles she took up and the strength she showed through it all.
If you go back to your school days we are sure you might remember having a chapter on her story, and if you are one of the people who very passionately think and preach of Feminism, she is one to be saluted for it, as she was the first of Feminist the Country had.
Going back to her Early life, she born in a family of farmers in Naigaon, Maharashtra in 1831, since the native India didn’t believe the logic of educating girls and marrying them off in the early ages even before their maturity, she was married at the age of nine to Jyotirao Phule who was then 12 years old.
Jyotirao Phule himself was an open-minded activist who wanted to educate the girls too, and thus he started literating Savitribai who later along with her husband opened India’s first female oriented school at Bhide Wada in Pune in 1848. She started studying the girls there as the families didn’t trust letting her little girls alone in a room with old men.
Convincing people to send their girls to their schools wasn’t the easy task too, in fact it was the most hard part in the whole process, and the orthodox society kept abusing and harassing the couple always for their right-minded activities. There were times when they hardly hard one or two girls in school and when many would withdrew their girls from schools to save themselves from the shame thrown by the orthodox society.
But, both SavitriBai and Jyotirao Phule continued their part in changing the system of the society and literating each and every individual of society and fighting against discrimination thrown towards females, the so-called untouchables and poor. Savitribai also wrote poems and used them to spread the awareness of their reform practices. The couple were felicitated by the colonial government of Bombay Presidency in 1850s for this work.
Savitribai had later on along with her adopted son, Yashwant, opened a clinic to treat those affected by the worldwide Third Pandemic of the Bubonic Plague when it appeared in the area around Nallasopara in 1897. The clinic was established at Sasane Mala, Hadapsar, near Pune, but out of the city in an area free of infection. Savitribai personally took patients to the clinic where her son served them. While caring for the patients, she contracted the disease herself. She died from it on 10 March 1897 while serving a plague patient.
A lot has changed since then, but still today after more than a century later women still face atrocities and have to fight for the basic rights which in reality should be just be entitled to them. But lets just Thank and share our Respect to the Lady who started it all on her Birthday with working towards our own development and the society’s and promising to not give in to the pressure of the still existing orthodox society.