Jyotirao Phule

Jyotirao Phule 11-04-1827 | Legendary Indian Social Activist

Jyotirao Phule A.K.A Mahatma Jyotirao Govindrao Phule was born at 11-04-1827 was an Indian Social Activist thinker, anti-caste social reformer and a renowned writer of Maharashtra. His work extended to many fields including eradication of untouchability and caste system. 11th April is remembered as Jytotirao Phule Jayanti in India.


Mahatma Jyotirao Phule was also known for his best efforts in educating women and lower caste people. He and his wife Savitribai Phule were pioneers or we may call pillars of the women education system in India.

Jyotirao Phule started his first School for girls in the year 1848 at Pune at Tatyasaheb Bhide’s residence of Bhidewada. 25 years later he also formed a group name SathyaShodhak Samaj.

The motive of the SatyaShodhak Samaj was to attain equal rights for people from lower caste people.

There was no discrimination, all people from any religion could become a part of this association which worked for the better of people.

Education background of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule:

While he was 23 years old, he visited the first girl’s school in Ahmadnagar, which was operated by Christian Missionaries.  Jyotiba Phule also loved reading books. He read a book named Rights of Man written by Thomas Paine. From the book, he learnt the facts of Social Justice. At that time he knew that the current system doesn’t allow lower caste people and women’s to learn education.

Wife of Jytotirao Phule
Savitribai Phule

He started teaching things to his wife Savitribai Phule and later they opened a school for girls in Pune. There were lots of problems because the upper caste society never approved his work. But many Indians as well as Europeans helped him generously. The upper caste society forced his family to exclude him forever.

During this period a friend named Usman Sheik and his Sister Fatima Sheik helped him. Also, Both of them started teaching to the school.

Jyotirao Phule also helped untouchable caste such as Mahar and Mang for providing education. Continuing the seamless efforts in the Year 1852 there were three Phule schools in which had almost 273 girls pursuing education. But in 1858 all the schools were closed due to financial problem led because of the Indian Mutiny of 1857.

Women’s Welfare: 

He championed Widow remarriage and started a home for High caste pregnant widows to give birth at a safe and secure place in 1863.

As per sources he also had an Orphanage.

Sathyashodhak Samaj: 

On 24 September 1873, Phule formed SatyaShodhak Samaj to focus on rights of women, and lower caste people.

He supported happiness, unity, equality and easy religious principles and rituals.

The members of the samaj were of many different castes such as Muslims, Brahmans and government officials.


Apart from Social activist, Jyotirao Phule was a Businessman too. In 1882 he styled himself as a merchant, cultivator and municipal contractor. He owner 60 acres of farmland at Manjri near Pune. In the 1870’s He was a contractor and also provided materials for constructing dam of Mula Mutha river near Pune. He also Provided labours for construction of Katraj Tunnel and Yerwada jail. In 1863 he also Supplied metal-casting equipment.

Jyotirao Phule’s Published Works : 

Mahatma Jyotirao Phule’s Akhandas were originally linked to Abhangs of Marathi Varkari Saint Tukaram. Some of the Notable works are:

  • Tritiya Ratna, 1855
  • Brahmananche Kasab,1869
  • Powada: Chatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosle Yancha, [English: Life Of Shivaji, In Poetical Metre], June 1869
  • Powada: Vidyakhatyatil Brahman Pantoji, June 1869
  • Manav Mahammand (Muhammad) (Abhang)
  • Gulamgiri, 1873
  • Shetkarayacha Aasud (Cultivator’s Whipcord), July 1881
  • Satsar Ank 1, June 1885
  • Satsar Ank 2 June 1885
  • Ishara, October 1885
  • Gramjoshya sambhandi jahir kabhar, (1886)
  • Satyashodhak Samajokt Mangalashtakasah Sarva Puja-vidhi, 1887
  • Sarvajanik Satya Dharma Poostak, April 1889
  • Sarvajanic Satya Dharmapustak, 1891
  • Akhandadi Kavyarachana
  • Asprashyanchi Kaifiyat

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Jyotirao Phule was title Mahatma on 11th May 1888 by another Social Reformer Vithalrao krishnaji Vandekar.

1 of the Quote from The Legend Jyotirao Phule:

Lack of education leads to a lack of wisdom, 
which leads to a lack of morals, 
which leads to a lack of progress, 
which leads to a lack of money, 
which leads to the oppression of the lower classes. 
See what state of the society one lack of education can cause!”

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