On the occasion of her 192nd birthday, a look back at the life of Savitribai Phule -  India's first female teacher

We remember Savitribai Phule, who, with her husband Jyotirao Phule, pioneered education for women and backward caste communities in India

Savitribai, a Dalit woman from the Mali community, was born on January 3, 1831, in Maharashtra's Naigaon village. Her husband, Jyotirao Phule, is said to have educated her at home after marrying her off at the age of ten

In 1848, the couple established a girls' school in Bhidewada, Pune. This was the country's first all-girls school

The Phules established more such schools in Pune for girls, Shudras, and Ati-Shudras (backward castes and Dalits, respectively), causing dissatisfaction among Indian nationalists

Savitribai herself faced a lot of hostility from the upper castes, including physical violence

"As I do the sacred task of teaching my fellow sisters, the stones or cow dung that you throw seem like flowers to me. God bless you!" Savitribai would say to her harassers

Savitribai founded the Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha ('Home for the Prevention of Infanticide') with Jyotirao to help pregnant widows who face discrimination

Among other things, Savitribai Phule advocated for inter-caste marriages, widow remarriage, and the abolition of child marriage, sati, and dowry systems

The Phules founded the Satyashodhak Samaj ('Truth-seekers' society') in 1873, a platform open to all, regardless of caste, religion, or class hierarchy, with the sole goal of bringing social equity

The couple also established 'Balyata Pratibandak Gruha,' a childcare centre for pregnant widows and rape victims