Savitribai Phule was a trailblazer in providing education for girls and for ostracized portions of society. She became the first female teacher in India (1848) and opened a school for girls with her husband, Jyotirao Phule. She went on to establish a shelter (1864) for destitute women and played a crucial role in grooming Jyotirao Phule’s pioneering institution, Satyashodhak Samaj, (1873) that fought for equality of all classes.
Her life is heralded as a beacon of women’s rights in India. She is often referred to as the mother of Indian feminism.
Determined to change the condition of women in the country, Savitribai, along with Jyotirao, a man of social reform himself, opened a school for girls in 1848. She became the first female teacher of India. This caused waves of fury in society.
In 1853, Savitribai and Jyotirao established an education society that opened more schools for girls and women from all classes, in surrounding villages.
Her journey was not an easy one. She was abused and had dung thrown at her on her way to school. Savitribai simply changed into the spare saree she carried with her everyday and continued on her journey.