Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Death Anniversary: A Look At His Contribution To Women's Education And Social Reform

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, one of the major social reformers in Indian history, worked relentlessly for uplifting the rights of women.

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Death Anniversary: A Look At His Contribution To Women's Education And Social Reform
New Delhi:

Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, commonly known as Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, is a pioneer in the field of women's education. He was a humanitarian, author, philosopher, and revolutionary who fought societal problems for a long time. He was born on April 11, 1827, in Maharashtra, and is noted for speaking out against caste inequality. His contribution to the education of girls and the empowerment of women was enormous.

Jyotiba Phule died on November 28, 1890. He worked hard to abolish untouchability and the caste system, as well as to emancipate women. Phule is best known for his work in educating women and people from lower castes.

Jyotiba Phule completed school in 1847. He married Savitri Bai in 1840. The duo was pioneers in India when it came to women's education. Jyotiba Phule educated his wife and advised her to teach girls. It was due to his encouragement, Savitri Bai became the first female teacher in the country.

In August 1848, he established the first school for girls in India, followed by schools for children from the Mahar and Mang Dalit classes. In 1873, Phule and his followers founded the Satyashodhak Samaj — society of seekers of truth —to fight for equal rights for the poor and people from lower castes.

Jyotiba Phule advocated for widow remarriage and established a home for lower and upper caste widows in 1854. He also opened a shelter for new-born infants to combat female infanticide. By opening his home and allowing people of the lower castes to use his water well, Jyotiba Phule attempted to remove the stigma of social untouchability that surrounded the lower castes.

Leaders across party lines paid tribute to Jyotiba Phule on his death anniversary.

In this tweet, former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that “Krantisurya Mahatma Jyotiba Phule was a great philosopher and social reformer, who worked for the cause of women's education and uplifting the lives of the underprivileged people.

Niranjan Patnaik, the President of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee tweeted that he deeply admired “Mahatma Jyotirao Phule's remarkable contribution to the elimination of illiteracy and untouchability”.

The Congress, on its official Twitter handle, wrote, “Mahatma Jyotirao Phule was a social reformer, thinker, writer, philosopher and revolutionary activist and his contribution for the upliftment of women and downtrodden is unforgettable. Tributes to Mahatma Jyotirao Phule on his death anniversary.”

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also paid tribute to Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, and tweeted, “His life was dedicated to the upliftment of the underprivileged. Along with promoting women's education, this Yugapurush did public awareness against untouchability, gender inequality, caste-system and other social evils.”

Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan wrote that Jyotiba Phule's “invaluable thoughts will continue to pave the way for the new construction of the nation and society”.

Here are a few other tweets:

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule's commitment to uplift the marginalised groups in society is indeed an example for future generations.