Savitribai Phule (1831-1897) was the first feminist in India. She was a Dalit woman and a pioneer of feminism in India. She was also the country’s first female teacher and went on to set up 17 more schools that imparted education to women of all castes.
Savitribai was born in 1831 in a small village in Maharashtra. She was married at the age of nine to Jyotirao Phule, who was an advocate of women’s rights and education. He was also a leader of the Satyashodhak Samaj, a social reform movement in Maharashtra. Jyotirao encouraged Savitribai to pursue her education and she soon became the first female teacher in India.
Savitribai and Jyotirao opened a school for girls in 1848 in Pune. This was the first school for girls in India and it was set up to challenge the caste system and to promote education for women. The school was met with much resistance from the local community, but Savitribai and Jyotirao persevered and the school eventually became successful.
Savitribai and Jyotirao went on to set up 17 more schools in Maharashtra and other parts of India. They also opened a school for untouchables and a home for widows. Savitribai was also a poet and wrote several poems about the plight of women in India.
Savitribai’s work was instrumental in bringing about social reform in India. She was a strong advocate of women’s rights and education and her work paved the way for other feminists in India. Her legacy lives on today and she is remembered as the first feminist in India.