Feminist Icon Of The 1800s! Remembering Savitri Bai Phule For Being Indias First Female Teacher

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Feminist Icon Of The 1800s! Remembering Savitri Bai Phule For Being India's First Female Teacher

Savitri Bai Phule, along with her husband Jyotirao Phule founded one of India's first girls' schools in Pune in 1848. She broke the shackles of patriarchy when she became the first female teacher at a time when girls were not even allowed to go to school.

In the 1800s, when female education was taboo in Indian society, Savitri Bai Phule stood up to change. She, along with her husband, Jyotirao Phule, opened one of the first schools for the education of the girl child in 1848. The female icon is also widely credited for breaking the shackles of patriarchy and becoming India's first female teacher. Ironically, she was married off at nine years to Jyotiba, and he taught her to read and write, after which she enrolled herself in two teachers' training programmes in Ahmedabad and Pune.

Savitri Bai's Journey Into Education

After completing her formal training in teaching, Savitri Bai Phule took charge as the first Indian Headmistress. She and her husband established three schools in Pune by 1851. Phule's voice for championing women's rights did not end merely at education. She went on to open a shelter home for women called the Home for Prevention of Infanticide, where widows could leave their children for adoption if they wanted. She vociferously opposed the traditions of child marriage and Sati. The female change-maker sought widow remarriage and set up a shelter home for widows.

Fought Enormous Resistance From The Locals

In her endeavour of ensuring and promoting education for women, she pulled in Fatima Begum Sheikh for her school in Pune. Fatima Begum was the wife of Usman Sheikh, who was Jyotiba's dear friend. Thus, Fatima Begum Sheikh emerged as the first Muslim woman teacher of the country. Savitri Bai Phule never stopped voicing her views that the local community in the 1800s found uncomfortable. She continued teaching girls and children of different castes despite the enormous resistance. She and Jyotiba adopted Yashwantrao from Kashibai, a Brahmin whom the locals wanted to kill after her husband's demise.

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