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Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and his Savitribai Phule's statue. Wikimedia Commons

November 28, 2016: It’s the 126th death anniversary of social reformer Mahatma Jyotirao Phule. Jyotirao Phule. Here are a few of the facts you would like to know about him:

  • Jyotirao Phule was born in Satara district of Maharashtra. His father was a vegetable vendor, Govindrao his mother’s name was Chimana.

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  • Phule understood the importance of education and felt that the society will remain in darkness if each and every individual doesn’t get a proper education.
  • In 1848, he gave a shape to his aspirations and started the first ever school for girls.
  • He, who educated his wife asked her to teach the girls and since she shared the same idealistic beliefs as her husband gladly agreed to do so.
  • The society was however not ready to accept it. Phule and his wife were forced to leave their house.

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  • In 1851, he opened up a bigger girls’ school and for girls of all castes, religions, and sections of the society. He too started teaching there.
  • He was also against child-marriage and believed in widow remarriage, but these initiatives were unaccepted by the orthodox community.
  • He also strongly opposed untouchability. He and his wife always open-heartedly welcomed the so-called lower caste people. This made the people of their own caste angry, but it never bothered them.
  • In 1873, Jyotirao Phule established the ‘Satya Shodhak Samaj’. Its main aim was to liberate the so-called lower castes from all kinds of exploitation.
  • Jyotirao Phule tried his best to create a society based on equality and unity.
  • In May 1888, Rao Bahadur Vithalrao Krishnaji Vandekar, the great reformer from Mumbai gave Jyotirao Phule the title of “Mahatma” for his selfless services to humanity.

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  • In July 1888, he suffered a paralytic stroke. He suffered from ill health for the next couple of years and died in November 1890, surrounded by family and friends.

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi


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