Savitribai, not Laxmibai, is the great heroine of modern India

The upper-caste historians of India commend Laxmibai as the heroine of India for the courage she showed in a battle against the British. However, Savitribai’s relentless struggle for liberation of India’s downtrodden, including the women, makes her the real heroine of modern India, says Omprakash Kashyap

SAVITRIBAI PHULE (3 JANUARY 1831 – 10 MARCH 1897)  

Savitribai Phule was inarguably India’s first woman teacher. At a time when education was not a priority even for the boys of the Shudra and the Atishudra communities, Savitribai went from home to home persuading girls to acquire an education. Despite all-round opposition, she did not budge from her path. She aided her husband Jotirao Phule’s epoch-making Bahujan movement. But Savitribai’s contribution to the progress of Indian society, especially its women, was not limited to that. Besides running schools, Jotirao Phule also ran maternity homes, and homes for widows and for orphaned children. Savitribai contributed immensely to the establishment and the running of these institutions. When the plague epidemic was raging through the country, Savitribai, without caring for her own life, served the patients. She contracted the disease and laid down her life in the service of humanity.

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