Google on Tuesday paid tributes to Savitribai Phule on her 186th birthday with a doodle.
It’s a colourful doodle with Savitribai Phule embracing women, symbolising her efforts to empower and educate them. It shows many women gathered at a place, probably a school, where they are being taught.
Savitribai Phule, born on January 3 1831, was a social reformer, a poet and also India’s first woman teacher and headmistress.
Many of her poems were against discrimination and propagated education. She is regarded as an important figure in Maharashtra’s social reform movements.
Savitribai Phule along with her husband Jyotirao Phule stood up to fight against the oppression of women over 150 years ago.
Together they founded the first all-women’s school at Bhide Wada in Pune in 1848. In her honour, University of Pune was renamed Savitribai Phule University in 2014.
She was taught to read and write by her husband and when she turned 17.
The Phule couple launched a crusade against social discrimination based on caste and gender, and sparked the flame for women’s equal rights during the British ruled India.
At a time when women had no say in anything, Savitribai’s campaign covered child marriages, child widows, rape victims becoming pregnant, the practice of ‘Sati’, educating women and fighting for equal rights for all women.
Savitribai fought for the rights of women, peasants, Dalits and backward castes. She has put together some writings of inestimable value, and her works continue to inspire many till date.
Savitribai and her adopted son, Yashwantrao Gupta, opened a clinic to treat those affected by the worldwide Third Pandemic of the bubonic plague when it appeared in the area around Nallasopara in 1897.
While caring for the patients, she contracted the disease herself. She died from it on 10 March 1897 while serving a plague patient.