India’s has a history chequered with women who have inspired with their ideas, thoughts as well as their deeds. Women who have stood against patriarchy, women who have stood up for women’s rights, women who have preached and taught equality and gender rights. Here are two of them.
Savitribai Jyotirao Phule
Savitribai Phule born on 3 January 1831, was a social reformer and poet. She played an important role in fighting for women’s rights in India during British rule. She has always been admired for her courage, for having fought against all odds in order to lay the foundation for the first women’s school at Bhide Wada in Pune in 1848.
She herself was a child bride and hence she was familiar with the difficulties a girl had to face when married off early. She noticed the plight of women who after falling prey to sexual exploitation, and becoming pregnant, either committed suicide or killed the newborn due to fear of banishment by the society. To cater to such women she opened a care center for pregnant rape victims and helped deliver their children. The care center was called “Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha” (Infanticide prohibition house)
This highly inspirational and strong woman died while taking care of her patients suffering during the worldwide Third Pandemic of the bubonic (bacterial infection) plague.
India today is suffering from internal social problems that are directly affecting the lives and rights of woman of our country, we need woman like her to inspire woman to stand up against discrimination and fight off any injustice.
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Sarojini Naidu was born on February 13, 1879. Her father Aghoranath Chattopadhyaya was a scientist and philosopher. She has been known to all as an inspiration thanks to her achievement of becoming the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India.
Sarojini Naidu was a brilliant student. She was proficient in Urdu, Telugu, English, Bengali, and Persian. She is famous for her poetry and is often called as “the Nightinagle Of India”. After finishing her studies at the age of 19, she married a non-brahmin, and a doctor by profession Dr. Govindarajulu Naidu. Sarojini Naidu joined the Indian national movement in the wake of partition of Bengal in 1905. She awakened the women of India. She brought them out of the kitchen. She traveled from state to state, city after city, crusading for women’s rights.
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It was her strong will and the quality to inspire woman with her leadership that made her an inspiration for all woman in India. At a time when women knew no other world than the four walls of their house, she made working, teaching and politics famous among all.
Feature Image Credit: lwvmn.org