The Saga of Savitribai Phule, India’s First Lady Teacher

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First Lady Teacher - Savitribai Phule

“Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.” Teachers and mentors are the most important people in our lives. They not only educate us but help us see the bigger picture, tell us about what’s out there in the world and shapes us into successful professionals and leaders. A teacher spends all their life pushing children to their better selves. Here is a story of one such awesome personality, who is famously known as the first lady teacher of India. Let us explore the journey of Savitribai Phule through this blog!

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” (Robert Frost)

Who was the First Lady Teacher of India?

Known as a pioneer when it comes to educating women, Savitribai Jyotirao Phule (January 3, 1831, to March 10, 1897) along with her husband Jyotirao Phule was eminent for her consistent initiatives of women’s education. Savitribai is known as the first female teacher who taught in the first-ever all-girls school in India. She dedicated all her life towards the upliftment of the underprivileged and abolishing the caste system by making the untouchables an equal part of the society. Hence, in 1852 she opened a school for the untouchable girls and became the first lady teacher of India by teaching them for free. 

Also Read: Know the Story of 98-year-old Nanda Kishore Prusty’s Relentless Mission of Eradicating Illiteracy

Born to be chief of the village in Satara district of Maharashtra, Khandoji Navse Patil and Laxmi Bai got Savitribai married to Jyoti Rao Phule when she was just 9 years old. The couple migrated to Pune and started the horticulture business, hence, acquired the last name Phule from ‘Phul’. 

Go Get Education

Be self-reliant, be industrious
Work, gather wisdom and riches
All gets lost without knowledge
We become animal without wisdom 
Set idle no more go get education 
And misery of the oppressed and forsaken 
You got a golden chance to learn 
So learn and break the change of caste

Savitribai Phule

Story of Savitribai Phule, First Female Teacher of India

Credits – Abhi and Niyu (Youtube)

Democratizing Education in India 

The revolutionary journey of Savitribai started by following the footsteps of her husband Jyoti Rao Phule. The couple together took various initiatives for the betterment of the lower castes. Under the support of Jyoti Rao, Savitribai took women’s education to another level and liberated it from the male-dominated society. This mission was not accomplished overnight, instead, it took years of hardships to achieve something as simple as that of a women’s school during the pre-independence phase. Along with turning the tables bi opening the school, she also worked hard towards widow remarriage and removal of untouchability. 

The endeavours of Savitribai, the first lady teacher, were wholeheartedly supported by a bunch of local women, thus, she formed the Mahila Seva Mandal in 1852. Savitribai along with her group whenever went to approach other women to enlighten them about their rights and dignity, they were attacked by the orthodox Indian men. Disheartened by the obscene language and gestures, Savitribai stood as a support for other women because Jyotirao Phule was a pillar of great support for her. 

Also Read: Retired Principal Democratizing Education in Kerala’s Most Backwards Areas

Later Life of India’s First Lady Teacher

Jyotirao Phule educated Savitribai and insisted her to attend the professional training school. She along with a friend Fatima Shaikh qualified for school with flying colours. After completing her education, she and Jyoti Rao Phule founded a girls school on 1st January 1848 in Bhide Wada, Pune. Enrollment of 9 girls from varied castes was seen. As time flew, in no time, five schools were opened in 1848 where Savitribai was the first lady teacher. Owing to their hearty yet arduous efforts towards women education, Jyoti Rao Phule and Savitribai was facilitated by the government of Maharashtra. 

Stay tuned with Leverage Edu for more such awesome content in the world of education. We will be back with another amazing story soon!

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