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Jyotirao Phule

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.



Social reformer Jyotirao Phule’s birth anniversary was observed on April 11th.

  • He was a multifaceted personality who worked tirelessly for social equality, women empowerment and boosting education.
  • Phule is widely respected as a champion of social justice and source of hope for countless people.

Phule was born into a family that belonged to the Mali caste, that grew fruits and vegetables for a living.


Key contributions to the society:

  • Along with his wife Savitribai Phule, worked for the uplift of women and children in the marginalised communities.
  • In 1848, he started his first school for girls at Bhide Wada in Pune.
  • In 1873, he formed the Satyashodhak Samaj (Society of Truth Seekers) along with his followers to fight for basic rights for people belonging to the lower castes.
  • They also fought to stop infanticide and promote widow remarriage.
  • To end the stigma of social untouchability, he opened his house to people of the lower caste and allowed them to use his water-well.
  • The couple set up ‘Balyata Pratibandak Gruha’, a childcare centre for the protection of pregnant widows and rape victims.


Title “Mahatma”:

In 1888, he was given the title of ‘Mahatma’ (‘great soul’) by another social activist Vithalrao Krishnaji Vandekar.


His famous works:

Tritiya Ratna (1855), Gulamgiri (1873), Shetkarayacha Aasud, or Cultivator’s Whipcord (1881), Satyashodhak Samajokt Mangalashtakasah Sarva Puja-vidhi (1887).


Current Affairs



Prelims Link:

  1. Important literary works of Mahatma Phule.
  2. Who gave him the title Mahatma?
  3. Objectives of Satyashodhak Samaj.
  4. Which state has launched a scheme on Jyotirao Phule and what is it related to?
  5. Notable contributions of Savitribai Phule.

Sources: Indian Express.