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Savitri Bai Phule and Rani Velu Nachiyar

Why is it in the news?

  • The Prime Minister of India honored the Jayanti of social reformer Savitri Bai Phule and Rani Velu Nachiyar, paying tributes to their contributions.

Savitribai Phule (3 January 1831 – 10 March 1897)

  • Mali Community Woman, Social Reformer, and Writer.
  • Married Jyotirao Phule at an early age.
  • Established the first girls’ school in Pune in 1848, challenging societal norms.
  • Opened schools for girls, Shudras, and Ati-Shudras, causing discontent among nationalists like Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
  • Co-founded Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha (Home for the Prevention of Infanticide) with Jyotirao.
  • Advocated for inter-caste marriages, widow remarriage, and the elimination of child marriage, sati, and dowry.
  • Established Satyashodhak Samaj in 1873, promoting social equity regardless of caste, religion, or class.
  • Initiated Satyashodhak Marriage to reject Brahmanical rituals and promote education and equality.
  • Engaged in relief work during the 1896 Maharashtra famine and the 1897 Bubonic plague.
  • Published poetry collections like “Kavya Phule” (1854) and “Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar” (1892).

Rani Velu Nachiyar (3 January 1730 – 25 December 1796)

  • First queen to resist British colonial power in India, known as Veeramangai in Tamil.
  • Princess of Ramanathapuram, the only child of Raja Chellamuthu Vijayaragunatha Sethupathy and Rani Sakandhimuthal.
  • Trained in warfare, martial arts (Valari, Silambam), horse riding, and archery.
  • Proficient in languages such as French, English, and Urdu.
  • Married the king of Sivagangai.
  • Succeeded her husband in 1780 and delegated powers to the Marudu brothers for administration.

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