Google on Tuesday today decided to dedicate a Doodle to mark the 186th birth anniversary of India’s 19th century social reformer Savitribai Jyotirao Phule, considered to be the first feminist of the country.
Born on January 3rd, 1831, in a rich and influential farming family and married off to the 13-year old Jyotirao Phule at the age of 9-years.
The colorful Doodle shows a simple Savitribai spreading her sari ‘pallu’ wide to encompass women from all sections of society for education and empowerment. The doodle shows a group of demure women assembled outside what could be a school for education in a skyblue starry background which also doubles as her blouse.
According to Wikipedia, all this started way back in 1848 when Savitribai at the age of 17 was taught to read and write by her husband. They [couple] founded India’s first school for girls and women in Bhidewada, Pune, which started with just nine girls from different castes enrolled as students but it became a historic step when female education was considered taboo in the orthodox Indian society prevalent then.
According to online publisher GadgetsNow; the Phule couple worked very hard to abolish discrimination and unfair treatment of people based on caste and gender 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.
Over the next few years, the couple set up 18 more schools across the state.
Nearly 18 decades later, the Maharashtra government renamed the Pune University as ‘Savitribai Phule University‘ as a tribute to the Phule’s sheer courage and pioneering efforts in the field of education, women empowerment, social reform and gender equality.