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Jyotirao Govindrao Phule was a Maharashtra-based writer, social activist, thinker, and anti-caste social reformer. He is well-known for his efforts to eradicate untouchability and the caste system, as well as, his efforts to educate women.
He and his wife, Savitribai Phule, were pioneers in India when it comes to women's education. Jyotirao was born on 11 April 1827, and every year his birthday is commemorated as Jyotiba Phule Jayanti.
This year, on Jyotiba Phule's 195th birthday, the Telangana government has planned to hold a state event to commemorate the birth anniversary of the great social activist. The government issued directives to organise the Phule Jayanti festivities in all district centres, including Hyderabad and approved a budget of Rs 20 lakh for the event.
Facts About Jyotirao Govindrao Phule
- Jotirao Govindrao Phule, also known as Mahatma Jotiba Phule was born to a family that belonged to the Mali caste, who traditionally worked as fruit and vegetable growers.
- In 1848 he read Thomas Paine's book Rights of Man which kindled in him a sense of social justice.
- The same year, Phule established the first school for girls at Tatyasaheb Bhide's mansion in Pune at Bhidewada.
- He and his disciples founded the Satyashodhak Samaj (Society of Truth Seekers) to help people from disadvantaged castes get equal rights.
- The organisation campaigned for the upliftment of the underprivileged classes and welcomed people of all religions and castes.
- Phule is considered to be an important figure in Maharashtra's social reform movement.
- Maharashtrian social crusader Vithalrao Krishnaji Vandekar honoured the title of 'honorific Mahatma' to Phule in 1888.
- Phule's social advocacy included a wide range of issues, including the abolition of untouchability and the caste system, women's education, and the care of impoverished women.
- He passed away on 28 November 1890.
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