Ramabai Ranade wife of Mahadev Govind Ranade, a pioneer of India’s social reform movement. She was born in Kurlekar family on 25 January 1863 in a small village, Devrashtre of Sangli District. She was most popular during 1893 to 1901 for her social activities.
Ramabai Ranade’s Activities:
- She was first women’s rights activists, a pioneer of the modern women’s movement.
- Vigorously worked for the next 25 years for women’s education, legal rights, equal status, and general awakening.
- Fought against the system of child marriage.
- Founder of women’s institution called Seva Sadan in Bombay & Pune, which was attended by thousands of women. This later developed into an institution offering a number of facilities like hostels, training colleges, vocational centres, selling centres etc.
Her work in Bombay (Mumbai):
- Worked for Prarthana Samaj.
- She established a branch of Arya Mahila Samaj in the city.
- She established the Hindu Ladies Social and Literary Club in Bombay
- Started a number of classes to train women in languages, general knowledge, tailoring and handwork.
Background of Ramabai Ranade
She got married at age of just 11 years. Also was illiterate since reading and writing were considered sin for girls. It was due to Justice Mahadev that she was able get educated. He devoted his time to make Ramabai Ranade an ideal women so that she can actively participate in social and educational reform. Hence she spent all her life making women self-reliant and economically independent.
She soon mastered the art of public speaking, both in English and Marathi. Her speeches were always simple and heart-touching.
At the age of thirty-eight, Upon the death of Justice Ranade in 1901, she left Bombay and came to Pune and stayed in isolated at their old ancestral house near Phule Market. But later she formed Seva Sadan in both Bombay and Pune for upliftment of distressed women.