Savitribai Phule

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Savitribai Phule
Born (1831-01-03)3 January 1831
Naigaon, British India, now in Satara district
Died 10 March 1897(1897-03-10) (aged 66)
Pune, Maharashtra, British India
Cause of death Bubonic plague
Nationality Indian
Spouse(s) Jyotirao Phule

Savitribai Jyotirao Phule (3 January 1831 – 10 March 1897) was an Indian social reformer, educationalist and poet. She is regarded as the first lady teacher of India. Along with her husband, Jyotirao Phule, she played an important role in improving women's rights in India during British rule.[1] Phule, along with her husband founded the first girls' school in Pune run by native Indians at Bhide Wada in 1848.[a] She worked to abolish 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.

Early life

Savitribai Phule was born in 1831 in Naigaon, Bombay Presidency in a farming family.[2] At the age of nine, she was married to twelve-year-old Jyotirao Phule in 1840.[3] Savitribai and Jyotirao had no children of their own,[4][page needed] but they adopted Yashavantrao, a son born to a Brahmin widow.[5]


When Jyotirao Phule started the girls school in Pune in 1848, Savitribai was its first teacher.[6] Together with her husband, she taught children from different castes and opened a total of 18 schools.[7] The couple also opened a care centre called Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha[5] for pregnant rape victims and helped deliver their children.[3]


Savitribai and 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.[8] The clinic was established at stern outskirts of Pune, 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.[2]


Savitribai Phule wrote many poems against discrimination and advised people to get educated.[9][10][full citation needed] Two books of her poems were published posthumously, Kavya Phule (1934) and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar (1982).


Bust of Savitribai Phule in Pune

Pune City Corporation created a memorial for her in 1983.

On 3 January 2017, the search engine Google marked the 186th anniversary of the birth of Savitribai Phule with a Google doodle.[12][13]

Along with Ambedkar and Annabhau Sathe, Phule has become an icon in particular for the Dalit Mang caste. Women in local branches of the Manavi Hakk Abhiyan (Human Rights Campaign, a Mang-Ambedkarite body)[14] frequently organise processions on their jayanti (birthday in Marathi and other Indian languages).[15]

A Kannada Movie was made on Biopic of Phule in 2018.



  1. ^ The American missionary Cynthia Farrar had started a Girls school in Bombay in 1829. In 1847,the Students' literary and scientific society started the Kamalabai High school for girls in the Girgaon neighborhood of Mumbai. The school is still operational in 2016. Peary Charan Sarkar started a school for girls called Kalikrishna Girls' High School in the Bengali town of Barasat in 1847. The Parsi community Mumbai had also established a school for girls in 1847)


  1. ^ Mariam Dhawale. "AIDWA Observes Savitribai Phule Birth Anniversary". Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Wayne, Tiffany K., ed. (2011). Feminist Writings from Ancient Times to the Modern World: A Global Sourcebook and History. ABC-CLIO. p. 243. ISBN 978-0-313-34581-4. 
  3. ^ a b Agnihotri, Sanjana (3 January 2017). "Who is Savitribai Phule? What did she do for womens rights in India?". India Today. Retrieved 2017-05-07. 
  4. ^ Rege, Sharmila (2009). Savitribai Phule Second Memorial Lecture, [2009]. National Council of Educational Research and Training. ISBN 978-8-17450-931-4. 
  5. ^ a b O'Hanlon, Rosalind (2002). Caste, Conflict and Ideology: Mahatma Jotirao Phule and Low Caste Protest in Nineteenth-Century Western India (Revised ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-521-52308-0. 
  6. ^ O'Hanlon, Rosalind (2002). Caste, Conflict and Ideology: Mahatma Jotirao Phule and Low Caste Protest in Nineteenth-Century Western India (Revised ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-521-52308-0. 
  7. ^ "Who was Savitribai Phule? Remembering India's first woman teacher". The Financial Express. 2018-01-03. Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  8. ^ "Savitribai Phule – Google Arts & Culture". Google Cultural Institute. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  9. ^ "Few Poems by Savitribai Phule". Dr Ambedkar's Caravan. 
  10. ^ A Forgotten Liberator – The Life And Struggle of Savitribai Phule. Mountain Peak Publishers. ISBN 978-81-906277-0-2. 
  11. ^ Kothari, Vishwas (8 July 2014). "Pune university to be renamed after Savitribai Phule". Times of India. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "Google doodle pays tribute to social reformer Savitribai Phule". The Hindu. 3 January 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  13. ^ "Savitribai Phule, Google Doodle Tribute To Social Reformer". 3 January 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  14. ^ Waghmore, Suryakant (2016). "Challenging Normalised Exclusion: Humour and Hopeful Rationality in Dalit Politics". In Gorringe, Hugo; Jeffery, Roger; Waghmore, Suryakant. From the Margins to the Mainstream: Institutionalising Minorities in South Asia. SAGE Publications. p. 151. ISBN 978-9-35150-622-5. 
  15. ^ Waghmore, Suryakant (2013). Civility against Caste: Dalit Politics and Citizenship in Western India. SAGE Publications. pp. 34, 57, 71–72. ISBN 978-8-13211-886-2. 

Further reading

  • Rao, Parimala V. (2002). "Educating Women – How and How Much: Women in the Context of Tilak's Swaraj". In Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi. Education and the Disprivileged: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century India. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 978-8-12502-192-6. 

External links

  • Works by or about Savitribai Phule at Internet Archive
  • Savitribai Phule, First Women Teacher in India
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Savitribai Phule"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA