Pandita Ramabai Saraswati, a scholar, feminist, educator, and one of the makers of modern India was born today on 23rd April 1858. She was the first woman to be awarded the titles of Pandita and Saraswati, reflecting her high academic stature.
She was born as Rama Dongre in a Marathi speaking Brahmin family. Her father, Anant Shastri Dongre, a Sanskrit scholar, taught her Sanskrit at home. Ramabai was only 16 when she lost both her parents to famine. Ramabai and her brother Srinivas survived and traveled all over India reciting Sanskrit scriptures.
A widely traveled lady, she visited most parts of India and even went to England and the US. She was well known as an activist who fought against the rigidity of the caste system and for the women’s right. In 1882 she founded the Arya Mahila Samaj, to promote the cause of women’s education and deliverance from the oppression of child marriage.
In 1919 British Colonial Government of India awarded her Kaiser-e-Hind Medal. In recognition of her contribution to the advancement of Indian women, the Government of India issued 60 Paise commemorative stamp in 1989.
Image Source: Mintage World
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