JAMMU, Apr 11: The 195th birth anniversary of Jyotirao Phule was celebrated by Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha Bahu Fort, Jammu here today.
While speaking on this occasion, Sham Lal Basson, Corporator Ward No. 48 said that Jyotirao Phule was a great social reformer and educationist of 19th centuary. Since Jyotirao’s father and two uncles served as flowerists under the last Peshwas, they came to known as Phules.
Education of women and the lower castes, he believed, deserved priority.Hence, at home he began educating his wife-Savitri Bai and opened first Girl Primary School at Bidewada, Pune on Ist January 1848.The orthodox opponents of Jyoti Rao were furious and they started vicious campaign against him.
On September 24, 1873, Jyotirao convened a meeting of his admirers and followers and it was decided to form the ‘Satya Shodhak Samaj’ (Society of seekers of truth) with Jyotirao as its first president and treasurer. In 1876, Jyotirao was nominated as member of the Poona Municipality. He tried his best to help the famine- stricken areas of Maharashtra when a severe famine in 1877 forced the people in the rural area to leave their villages.
Throughout his life, Phule fought for the emancipation of the down-trodden people and the struggle which he launched at a young age ended only when he died in November 1890. He was a pioneer in many fields and among his contemporaries he stand out as one who never wavered in his quest for truth and justice.
The later generations also took considerable time to understand and appreciate the profound significance of his unflinching espousal of the ‘ rights of man’s which remained till the end of his life a major theme of his writings and a goal of his action.
Others who spoke and paid tributes to Jyotirao Phule included, Dr Vijay Shivgotra, Prof Chaman Lal Shivgotra,Sham Kalsi, Vikas Kalsi, Joginder Kumar, Om Parkash, Suresh Kumar (Rinku), Rattan Basson and Om Parkash Thappa.