A social reformer and a poet, Savitribai Phule, is the 19th-century pioneer who is hailed as the woman who helped set up the first school for girls in India.
Born in the small village of Naigaon in Maharastra on January 3, 1931, Savitribai Phule is accredited for laying the foundation of education opportunities during the British rule and is often described as the mother of Indian feminism.
She was married to thirteen-year-old Jyotirao Phule at a young age of nine years and moved to Pune soon after. In 1948, she became the first female teacher in the country causing waves of fury in the society. Determined to change the condition of women in the country, Savitribai along with her husband, opened a school for girls in 1948. Stepping up their cause, Savitribai and her husband established an education society that opened more schools for girls and women from all classes, in surrounding villages in 1853.
A year later, she opened a shelter for women. Almost a decade later, she built a larger shelter for destitute women, widows and child brides cast aside by their families. She even adopted her son, Yashwant Rao, from this shelter.
During the 19th-century, the oppressed classes were forbidden from drinking water from the common village well. To end this discrimination, Savitribai and Jyotirao dug a well in their own backyard for the oppressed classes to drink water from causing a furore in 1868.
Acknowledging her efforts, the British government declared her to be the best teacher in the state in 1852. She also received further praise from the British government in 1853 for her work in the field of education.
Tech giant Google is honouring the contributions of this legendary reformer with a creative doodle that shows Savitribai sheltering all destitute women in a safe house.