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Remembering Ramabai, a beacon for girls’ education2 min read

October 23, 2020 2 min read

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Remembering Ramabai, a beacon for girls’ education2 min read

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Rewind with Owliver

October 11 was International Day of Girl Child, also known as ‘Day of Girls’. The United Nations – an organisation that works on maintaining peace and cooperation between countries – established this day in 2012. This day is very important for spreading awareness on the problems faced by girls and women in their daily lives.

It is also a reminder to celebrate the people who have fought hard for this cause. One such person is Ramabai Ranade, who worked hard to make sure girls get educated. In our first Rewind with Owliver, let’s learn a little about this pioneer in girls’ rights and education.

A yearning for learning

Ramabai was born in Maharashtra in 1863, that’s almost 158 years back! At that time, girls going to school was unheard of, but Ramabai was determined to study all that she could. She first started with Marathi, her native language, and then went onto learning Bengali and English too! This wasn’t an easy task though, as many were against her educating herself. 

Justice Mahadev Ranade was a politician, judge and author. Photo: YouTube

Ramabai had a famous husband too, Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade, a famous scholar, judge and author. With his support, she started the Seva Sadan Society in Mumbai and Pune, and dedicated her life to bettering the lives of women. At Seva Sadan, girls and women are helped in getting an education, they are taught important skills to improve not only their lives, but also the lives of their families. Thousands of women have been helped by this organisation. In 1886, she also started the first girls’ high school in Pune.

Crossing borders

Ramabai’s work for girls wasn’t just limited to India. For her cause, she became known in other countries such as Kenya and Fiji too, giving lectures and representing India at international conferences.

Did you know?

Remembering Ramabai

The Indian postal department released a stamp in Ramabai’s honour in 1962. Photo: collectorbazaar.com

Ramabai’s work back then continues to help girls and women even today. To honour her, the Post and Telegraph Department issued a special stamp with Ramabai’s picture on it on August 15, 1962 – hundred years after her birth. 

(Rewind with Owliver is a fortnightly column that looks at our past in connection to our present, so that we may learn to make good decisions about our future)