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On 3rd January, 1831, Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule was born in a village called Naigaon in the Satara district of Maharashtra. The year 2022 marks the 190th birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule. The day is observed in Maharashtra as Balika Din. She started the first-ever school for girls in India in 1848 at Bhide Wada, Pune. Jyotirao Phule, her husband, was one of the pillars of support. Phule encouraged women to attend school by offering them stipends. Although most of the schools were for upper-caste women, Savitribai and Jyotirao set up schools for Dalit and lower-caste women as well. She opened a well for ‘untouchables’ at her residence in a defiant act against the caste system and also started a care centre for pregnant rape victims called ‘Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha’. Phule also set up a ‘Mahila Seva Mandal’ where women would gather and she would raise awareness about women’s rights. She helped several people when the bubonic plague hit the world, opening up a clinic with her son, Yashwant, in 1897 to help patients.
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