top of page
  • Writer's pictureMitra Swayamdeep

Bhidewada: The first school for girls

"Sit idle no more. Go get education" - Savitri Bai Phule


Isn't it is so easy to get??

What we have to struggle with,

To get educated???

Haven't we got the easiest lives??

We have the rights,

we have the power to represent,

we have the freedom to live by choice.

There are still flaws in the society,

orthodox or the religious,

which still, hamper many of the lives,

but, aren't we so privileged??

We have the constitution for our protection,

for our rights.

There was a time,

when religion ruled,

no education for women,

no rights for them,

Lived for the men,

Lived for patriarchal lineages,

Nothing but an object,

To serve the family was the only duty.

Controlled by the patriarchy,

they accepted their fate,

With no rights, no freedom,

The power of education,

they never knew.

A revolution began,

with Jyotiba-Sau,

He taught her,

She learned,

She knew the power.

She rose,

She fought,

She struggled,

and she taught.

1st January 1848,

The first school for girls was started,

at Bhidewada (a rented house in Pune)

With associate Fatima as a teacher,

9 girl students joined.

Though disgraced by society,

She strived,

for the girls, shudras and atishudras,

for their education,

for their rights.

She broke all the chains of patriarchy,

that made her weak,

She was strong,

with Jyotiba's companionship.

Together they were abandoned,

by families, by society,

They never stopped their struggle,

They never stopped the fight...

Education is important,

and so are the rights,

Jyotiba-Sau for the upliftment of society,

dedicated their whole life.

Following their legacy,

we got the scholarships,

we got the hostels,

we got schools, we got education.

we got rights.

Shahu, Ambedkar and many,

who fought for the society,

Jyotiba-Sau were their inspiration,

Bhidewada was the first step,

it was the beginning of a revolution.

Bhidewada: First school for girls

It is an honor, we had such social reformers coz of whom life is easy for many. Yet, we fail them in understanding their struggles and we fail to practice what had been taught. Bhidewada is truly the first step of that revolution. It was started by Savitri Bai Phule and Jyotiba on 1st January 1848. I assume you must be knowing the famous Dagduseth Halwai Ganpati temple in Pune, many of them might have visited too, but do you about Bhidewada: The first school for girls? Do you know Bhidewada is just at exact opposite of that famous temple? If you noticed the art I created, that photo in the art is its current situation, you will find nothing there, you won't even feel the power of revolution unless you know its importance. There had been protests, demands for Bhidewada to be recognized with national status for its historical importance. Pune Municipal Corporation listed Bhidewada as a heritage structure in 2017, but it is just listed. Activists have had conflicts with the shop owners who have shops in Bhidewada, but still, nothing has been done by corporation to preserve or save it.

It would be great if we understand the importance of Jyotiba and Sau's struggle, it would be great if we understand the importance of Bhidewada, its historical importance. If you ever get a chance to visit Pune, do visit Bhidewada. You will definitely feel proud, but you will also feel disappointed because religion has overshadowed the importance of education.

Thank You for reading, also to mention 1st January is also celebrated a Valor day, which represents the battle of Bhima Koregaon (which is never taught in school or colleges). You can read the poem 'Battle of Bhima Koregaon; An Untold Story' (click on the title).


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page